KLCI up 10.06 points as market cheers Malaysia's post-GE14 reforms

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 16): The FBM KLCI rose 10.06 points or 0.5% today as investors cheered and evaluated the progress of reforms in Malaysia after Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad-led Pakatan Harapan's win in the country's 14th General Election (GE14) last Wednesday.

Today, the KLCI closed at 1,858.26 following news that jailed former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was granted a full pardon. Investors could have also responded to Dr Mahathir's statement that Malaysia is committed to pay any debt linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd, if the debt has been guaranteed by the government.

Malaysia's GST also made headlines today. The Finance Ministry said it will reduce the GST rate from 6% to 0% effective June 1 this year. In a statement, the Ministry said it has decided that goods and services within Malaysia and those imported from abroad, which incur GST of 6%, will see the rate reduced to 0% from June 1 this year throughout the country.

Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Pong Teng Siew told theedgemarkets.com that the KLCI gained as selling pressure from foreign investors appeared to have ended.

“Expectation on the removal of the GST shall see stronger consumer spending,” Pong said.

Across Bursa Malaysia, three billion shares worth RM2.91 billion were traded. Top gainers included consumer stocks Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd and Nestle (M) Bhd.