The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index rose for the first time in six days, gaining 2.31 points, or 0.3 per cent, to close at 869.24. Forty-nine stocks rose and 29 fell on the 100-member measure. March index futures dropped as much as 0.6 per cent to 866.50.
There were 232 gainers, 234 losers and 251 unchanged.
“Volume stayed lethargic as investors await the (full details of the) mini-budget,” a dealer said.
“Also, investors were unwilling to take on new positions ahead of the long weekend,” the dealer added.
Financial markets will be closed on Monday for a public holiday.
On Thursday, the government tabled in parliament plans for a RM10 billion (US$2.69 billion) spending plan to help bolster the economy amid fears it is on the brink of a recession.
It follows a RM7 billion plan announced in November that is being spent on “high-impact” projects including roads, schools and low-cost housing.
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Kong Cho Ha said that more measures may be revealed next week when Deputy Premier Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is also the Finance Minister, is due to give the house a fuller explanation of the spending plan during the second reading on March 10.
Bursa Malaysia Bhd rose 0.8 per cent to RM4.86, the biggest gain since February 25. Malaysia’s stock exchange manager said it plans to seek shareholder approval to buy back as much as 10 per cent of its stock.
AMMB Holdings Bhd, Malaysia’s fifth-biggest bank, advanced 2.1 per cent to RM2.49, the most since February 23. AMMB is among five “bombed-out fundamental” stocks investors should buy in Malaysia, Macquarie Group Ltd. said in a report, saying it’s time to “shift out of cash into equities” before the expected “bear-market rally” in the next two quarters.
MMC Corp added 1.5 per cent to RM1.40, the largest increase since February 19. The builder, port operator and power utility group has agreed in principle to get a second valuation on its proposed acquisition of Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd, a newspaper reported, citing the Minority Shareholders Watchdog group chief executive officer Rita Benoy Bushon, after a meeting with MMC’s management. MMC will hire an independent valuer as it seeks to justify the rationale for the acquisition, the report said.
Petra Perdana Bhd rose 0.7 per cent to RM1.37, the highest level since February 27. The oil and gas services provider said it got term loans of as much as RM150 million (US$40 million) to help refinance older debt. The syndicated transferable loans were arranged by HwangDBS Investment Bank Bhd, Alliance Investment Bank Bhd and EON Bank Bhd, the company said in a statement.
Sarawak Energy Bhd advanced 3 per cent to RM1.73, the most since January 22. The power utility and Sarawak Hidro Sdn Bhd are in talks to sell the electricity to be produced by the 2,400-megawatt Bakun power plant to Brunei and Indonesia, a Financial Daily reported, citing a deputy minister. Bakun is expected to start operation in August 2010, the newspaper reported, citing Kong.
Among gainers, IOI Corp rose 2.1 per cent to RM3.74, DiGi.com edged up 0.5 per cent to RM21.10 and Asiatic climbed 1.5 per cent to RM4.02.
On the downside, Zelan slid 8.3 per cent to 61 sen while Bumiputra-Commerce fell 0.8 per cent to RM6.20 and Public Bank slipped 0.6 per cent to RM8.15. - Agencies