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PETALING JAYA: Foreign investors net sold equities on Bursa Malaysia for the week ended Jan 20, at RM168.5 million, more than three times the amount net sold during the week ended Jan 13, according to MIDF Research.

In its weekly fund flow report, it said that Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) unexpectedly maintained its Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) at 2.75% last Thursday. However, MIDF’s economists believe that the OPR might be raised by 25 basis points at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in March as core inflation remains elevated.

“Year to date, foreigners have net sold RM142.9 million of Malaysian equities. The week saw only net foreign inflows on Tuesday to the tune of RM85.4 million. The other four days of the week saw net selling by the foreigners. Heaviest net selling came in on Wednesday, a day before the BNM’s MPC meeting. The net selling on that day amounted to RM114.6 million,” it said in a statement today.

The research house added that the top three sectors that saw net foreign inflows last week were energy (RM31.0 million), healthcare (RM30.5 million) and technology (RM21.3 million), while the top three sectors that saw net foreign outflows were financial services (RM272.4 million), industrial products & services (RM9.9 million) and transportation & logistics (RM2.4 million).

It said that local institutions remained net buyers for the second consecutive week after net buying RM391.6 million worth of equities last week. Every trading day was a net buying day except for Tuesday which saw a net outflow of RM64.3 million by the local institutions. Local institutions have been net buyers of domestic equities so far this year with a total net inflow of RM606.5 million.

“Meanwhile, local retailers have net sold RM223.1 million last week, slightly lower than the RM292.6 million that were net sold during the week ended Jan 13. Every trading day was a net selling day by the local retailers last week with the heaviest net selling recorded on Friday at RM79.1 million. This could be due to profit taking ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday. Year-to-date, local retailers have net sold RM463.6 million of Malaysian equities,” it remarked.

In terms of participation, there was a decrease in average daily trading volume among local retailers (10.5%), local institutions (10.3%) and foreign investors (11.9%).

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