KLCI down 1.28 pts as AMMB, RHB take centre stage

KLCI down 1.28 pts as AMMB, RHB takes centre stage

KLCI down 1.28 pts as AMMB, RHB takes centre stage

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 23): The FBM KLCI fell 1.28 points or 0.1% as index-linked AMMB Holdings Bhd and RHB Bank Bhd took centre stage in Malaysian share trades.

Financial services entities AMMB and RHB were in the spotlight after both banks called off their proposed merger. At 5pm, the KLCI closed at 1,772.94 points as investors took profit from AMMB shares' intraday gains.

At 5pm, AMMB shares fell 11 sen to close at RM4.59 after rising to its intraday high at RM4.89. RHB shares rose 19 sen to close at RM5.07 to become Bursa Malaysia's fifth-largest gainer.

Across Bursa Malaysia, two billion shares were traded for RM1.97 billion. A total of 419 counters declined compared to 384 gainers.

Among the KLCI's 30 constituents, AMMB was the top decliner while RHB was the top gainer.

"Without the merger, we are back to eight anchor banking groups with RHB ranking fourth by total assets and AMMB, sixth. We believe both banks will shift their focus back on their strategic plans which have been outlined for the year/financial year," AllianceDBS Research Sdn Bhd wrote in a note today.

Besides AMMB, the KLCI also fell on losses in other banking stocks like CIMB Group Holdings Bhd and Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd.

Areca Capital Sdn Bhd CEO Danny Wong told theedgemarkets.com that although a number of banking counters declined, the impact was not "significant enough to cause a large wave in the market".