March 18, 2013 / 7:16 AM / 5 years ago

STOCKS NEWS ASEAN-Malaysia continues to attract inflows

Foreign investors continued to favour Malaysian stocks last week
as appetite for the country's risk assets remained strong with
the market falling to an attractive level after pricing in the
national elections to be held mid-year. 
    Malaysia's bourse took in $228 million in net foreign
purchases in the week ended March 15, more than any of its
Southeast Asian rivals, followed by a $361 million offshore
inflow in the previous week, stock exchange data showed.
    "Foreigners think the current government would stay in
power. So they are not so concerned," said Ang Kok Heng, who
helps manage some $422 million as chief investment officer at
Kuala Lumpur-based Phillip Capital Management Sdn Bhd. 
    "But locals are more worried because they think there is a
chance Barisan (the ruling party) may lose."
    Another Kuala Lumpur-based analyst said foreigners have been
buying only heavyweights such as Telekom Malaysia Bhd 
and Tenaga Nasional Bhd, and not small caps.
    Kuala Lumpur has enjoyed a net $2.06 billion in inflows so
far this year, the highest in the Southeast Asian region, 
followed by Indonesia's $1.97 billion. 
    Kuala Lumpur's Composite Index has fallen 4 percent
so far in 2013, the region's worst performer. 
    The market's 14-day relative strength index has fallen to a
near over-sold level from an overbought region early this year,
Thomson Reuters data showed. Domestic investors were net sellers
of the market due to caution ahead of the general election. 
    Thailand witnessed $208 million inflow, while
Indonesia suffered a $100 million outflow last week. 
    Year-to-date inflows into Indonesian and Vietnamese 
markets have already exceeded last year's total foreign inflows,
Thomson Reuters data showed.
  Net foreign buying (or selling, in brackets)
  (Millions of US dollars)        
                    1 week     MTD*    FEB     YTD*     2012
 Malaysia             228      651     585   2,056       n/a
 Thailand             208      387    (583)    303     2,506
 Indonesia           (100)     215    1,161  1,971     1,639
 Philippines        (0.27)     251     146   1,221     2,693
 Vietnam               13       35      (4)    152       151
  * MTD = month to date, YTD = year to date    
    Source - Thomson Reuters, stock exchanges
    Singapore data is not available

 (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Additional reporting by Anuradha
Raghu in Kuala Lumpur; Editing by Jijo Jacob)

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