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Foreign outflow in Malaysian stocks accelerate to four-year high

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Malaysia's benchmark equity index rebounded last week but that didn't stop an acceleration of foreign selling to the highest level in four years after Mahathir Mohamad's unexpected election upset.

[KUALA LUMPUR] Malaysia's benchmark equity index rebounded last week but that didn't stop an acceleration of foreign selling to the highest level in four years after Mahathir Mohamad's unexpected election upset.

The nation's stock market had a volatile start last week after the three-day holiday but it closed 0.4 per cent higher after five days of trading. Yet, overseas investors sold US$625 million worth of equities last week, Malaysia's biggest stock outflow since August 2013, according to data from Bursa Malaysia Bhd, the nation's stock exchange.

The selloff is pushing it to the brink of wiping out this year's almost US$1 billion of foreign inflows.

Mahathir's attempt to soothe investor jitters by introducing a team of five advisers well-known in official and business circles in Malaysia, might have been in vain. For the year, foreign inflows now stand at US$10.3 million as of Friday, a sharp drop from the US$937.8 million figure recorded on April 30, data showed.

sentifi.com

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So what's keeping the stock market afloat? The price of oil has rallied, which will help boost government revenue and oil and gas contractors in Malaysia. There are also local funds that believe Mr Mahathir will follow through with his promise to find ways to boost the stock market and lead a business-friendly administration.

The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index rose as much as 0.6 per cent on Monday.

BLOOMBERG

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