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Ekonomi Tersedak Juga?
By Kapal Berita

4/2/2001 9:48 pm Sun

Jika ekonomi negara sudah 'okay' (sampai mempunyai beribu-ribu mata?), Danaharta tidak perlu ada. Itu sahaja. Tidak perlu menulis panjang berjela...

Pelabur luar sudah memngeluarkan hampir US$500 juta (S$872 juta atau RM 2 bilion) dari Malaysia sejak bulan November kerana bimbang sekonomi A.S. yang semakin menggelosor.

Maklumat dari laman NEAC (National Economic Action Council) menunjukkan kadar bersih pengaliran keluar potfolio berjumlah RM1.81 billion (S$829.7 million) antara Nov 1 dan Dec 6.

Kira-kira RM3 billion pula sudah dikeluarkan dari pasaran saham Malaysia sejak enam bulan terakhir tahun lepas. Patutlah ada beribu-ribu mata yang bengkak dari yang bongkak untuk menonjolkan angka!


Jika Singapura membuang pekerja, tidakkah ada rakyat Malaysia di sana yang terkeluar sama? Kerajaan sebenarnya menggunakan tektik 'kambus lubang dan gali lubang' dalam menghadapi krisis. Ini adalah sebahagian daripada ciri-ciri 'artificial economy'. Ia umpama sistem piramid ala 'Pak Man Telo' yang di'izinkan' atau di'perbadankan'. Pak Man Telo mengharapkan ada orang yang terus menyumbang supaya beliau terus dapat memberi faedah dan imbuhan kepada pelabur 'skim cepat kaya' itu. Apabila tersekat, sistem itu akan menyebabkan tindakbalas berantai (chain reaction) yang bakal menggugat semua yang terlibat, khususnya mereka yang terhimpit kerana mengharap. Dana pencen sudah berlubang angkara kroni yang terjun kapalterbang. Soalnya berapa tahun baru dapat dikambus? KWSP pula terpaksa berbaris panjang kerana sukar hendak mengira wang! Kalau membeli komputer, kelewatan KWSP akan menyebabkan barang yang dipesan sudah tiada dalam pasaran....

Ramai rakan yang bekerja di bank sudah merungut. Tidak ada keyakinan untuk konsumer berbelanja kerana masih berdebar di dada. Pasaran kereta sudah pun ada yang terkena, dan kini pekerja sektor perkilangan sedang geleng kepala. Tetapi masih ada pemimpin yang mengatakan tidak ada apa-apa. Memanglah! mereka takkan merasa kerana tidak pun mahu turun untuk bersua! Mereka hanya memikirkan untuk terbang untuk tidak lagi pulang......

-Kapal Berita-

Source: The Singapore Straits Times

3rd February 2001

Foreign funds shifted $872m out of Malaysia in November

KUALA LUMPUR - Foreign investors pulled out nearly US$500 million (S$872 million) from Malaysia last November on fears of a slide in US stock markets and an economic slowdown.

Latest data posted by the National Economic Action Council on its website showed that net portfolio outflow totalled RM1.81 billion (S$829.7 million) between Nov 1 and Dec 6.

Foreign funds withdrew nearly RM3 billion from Malaysian stocks in the six months to early December.

'It was partly in response to a lowering of economic forecast and in anticipation of a correction on the Wall Street,' said SBB Securities economist Manokaran Mottain.

But fund managers said the trend was likely to be reversed last month, reflecting the recent uptick in the bellwether Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange Composite Index.

The index has gained about 8.3 per cent during the year to close at 736.34 points yesterday.

'If you look at the past two weeks, there was an inflow of new money,' said Mr Nik Azhar Abdullah, a fund manager at Commerce Asset Fund Managers.

'The financial and gaming sectors have outperformed the index.

'Foreign funds bought into financial and gaming stocks during this period.'

The Kuala Lumpur Financial Index outperformed the Composite Index by jumping 9.3 per cent during the year to close the week at 5,542.31, partly on progress made in financial sector consolidation.

'It's very difficult to predict the movement in the index even for the next three months. It depends a lot on what happens to the US economy,' Mr Nik added. --Reuters

2 Feb 2001

KL must look into corporate governance: fund managers

KLCI could reach 1,100 pts but factors hindering rise must be removed

MALAYSIA must seriously address the issue of corporate governance and accountability in order to attract the return of foreign portfolio interest, foreign and local fund managers said.

A shift in attitude is becoming increasingly crucial to accelerate successful corporate reforms, while an image overhaul among the upper echelons of power may be necessary to portray Malaysia as a foreign investment friendly nation, they said. Past developments, including the imposition of an exit levy on portfolio profits and the reduction of Malaysia's weightings on Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) indices, have combined to knock Malaysia off the radar screens of most foreign investors, they added.

The fund managers see the KLSE composite index trading at around 800-820 points, possibly even touching 1,100 points, but factors hindering the rise must be removed for that to happen.

ABN Amro head of research for Malaysia and Singapore Dominic Armstrong said the KLSE composite index could reach 800 points this year but the authorities need to look much deeper into issues of corporate governance for the market to advance further.

"Our target at this stage is 800 for the KLCI, which is not that far in the run up we have seen in the last couple of weeks. It is technically possible to see 1,100 in the market under slightly different circumstances.

"Those circumstances would be a dramatic shift in attitude to the rules of corporate governance and (the display) of welcome to foreign investors," Mr Armstrong said.

The key drivers of the KLSE's performance are the economy, politics, corporate governance and restructuring. Politics plays a pivotal role in terms of "external perception" as it is perceived to be the source of market policy, he said.

American-Malaysian Chamber of Commerce president Nicholas Zeffreys told an economic conference earlier this week Malaysia must work to remove corruption and excessive government intervention in business if it wants to attract foreign investment. "Corruption (prevention) needs big improvement ... (there is) too much government intervention in the Malaysian economy," hhe added.

He also said anti-Western rhetoric about economic "colonialists" is scaring away investors.

ABN Amro's Mr Armstrong said corporate restructuring should result in higher efficiency but this is not yet seen. "The deals that have been hitting the headlines over the last three months where certain individual shareholders have been receiving treatment which has not been available to ordinary shareholders are hardly the sort of headline grabbing news that make my job trying to promote Malaysia any easier," he said.

These "deals" do not encourage investors into putting fresh money into the country, he added.

Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein assistant director for equity research Alan Inn said he feels that "the economy is expected to slow ... and economic data should show this ... (but) we do not believe this is fully reflected in stock prices."

He said there is a high risk of further earnings downgrades and while strong domestic liquidity has helped support the local bourse, foreign funds are needed to sustain a rally. "Circumstances have changed. With selective capital controls, an exit levy of 10 per cent and investors' perception of policy flip-flops by the government, the risk premium of investing in Malaysian shares has risen.

"Coupled with some corporate governance issues and the lowering of Malaysia's weighting in MSCI indices, these have worked to reduce investors' interest in Malaysian stocks," he said.

"We find it difficult to justify buying the market at this stage. We find there are more solid reasons to sell the market than to buy," he added.

He also said the brokerage has recently downgraded its outlook on Malaysia to underweight from overweight previously.

"With concerns about corporate governance and decreasing earnings growth momentum, the index is not likely to go higher," Mr Inn said.

Kenanga Investment Management executive director and senior fund manager Johan Tazrin Ngo said he expects the KLSE composite index to reach 800-820 points this year, with an upside of 19 per cent and a downside of 22 per cent.

"We expect more short-term weakness (in the first quarter) and volatility will be the name of the game," he said.

The market is likely to focus on economic data and on corporate earnings, he said, adding that last year's fourth quarter results are likely to disappoint. -- AFX-Asia