The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index fell for a fifth day, losing 6.19 points, or 0.7 per cent, to close at 890.28, the longest losing streak since December 26. Almost five stocks declined for each that rose on the 100-member measure.
IOI Corp, Malaysia’s second biggest planter, rose 6 sen, or 1.6 per cent, to RM3.84, the most since January 5. United Malacca Bhd jumped 15 sen, or 2.7 per cent, to RM5.70, its largest gain since December 22. Malaysia’s government is considering a request by domestic palm oil producers to scrap a windfall tax after the price of the commodity slumped.
“I have handed over the proposal to the government through the ministry of finance for further consideration,” Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Peter Chin told reporters today. He didn’t say when a decision might be made.
KNM Group Bhd slid 1 sen, or 2.2 per cent, to 45.5 sen, the lowest level since January 2. Petra Perdana Bhd fell 6 sen, or 4.4 per cent, to RM1.32, the steepest slide since November 26, after crude oil fell as much as 1.6 per cent in New York, dimming the prospects for oil exploration-related contracts.
Maybank Investment Bank Bhd’s head of retail research Lee Cheng Hoo said the bourse was hit by profit-taking in finance and blue chips. Among the finance counters, Bumiputra-Commerce shed 15 sen to RM6.35 and Public Bank declined 10 sen to RM8.75.
The KLCI was dragged down mostly by foreign investors’ sell-off in the finance sector, Lee said.
He also expected the market to move in range-bound trading for the rest of the week in line with other markets in the region.
Media Prima Bhd, a Malaysian media company, fell 2 sen, or 2 per cent, to 98 sen, the lowest level since December 16. The company had its stock rating lowered to “hold” from “buy” at Maybank Investment Bank Bhd, which said rising competition from a government-owned rival will hurt earnings. Its target price was reduced to RM1.10 from RM1.54, Maybank Investment said in a report today.
UEM Land Bhd declined 2.5 sen, or 3.1 per cent, to 77 sen. The developer of Malaysia’s biggest property project in Johor said it’s in talks with financial institutions to raise as much as RM1.25 billion to fund parts of the project. Terms are still being discussed, UEM said in a statement. - Bernama, Bloomberg