KUALA LUMPUR (May 4): The FBM KLCI declined 13.84 points 0.8% after Malaysian Government-owned TRX City Sdn Bhd said its planned sale of a 60% stake in Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd to IWH CREC Sdn Bhd is "null and void with immediate effect".
The Government via the Finance Ministry owns TRX, a former unit under 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). The Government also owns 100% of 1MDB.
Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd and China Railway Engineering Corporation (M) Sdn Bhd (CREC) jointly own IWH CREC. TRX said "IWH CREC failed to meet the payment obligations" under the share sale agreement.
Analysts said news on termination of TRX's plan to sell its 60% equity interest in the Bandar Malaysia real estate project here had affected investor sentiment. At 5pm, the KLCI settled at 1,758.67 points, while the ringgit weakened to 4.3300 against the U.S. dollar.
JF Apex Securities Bhd senior analyst Lee Cherng Wee told theedgemarkets.com that concerns surrounding the Bandar Malaysia aborted stake sale was one of other factors driving decline in the KLCI today, on top of ongoing profit-taking activity.
“The index might have also been impacted by concerns on 1MDB, following development on the Bandar Malaysia stake sale. If you recall, the market and ringgit were affected a while back due to the 1MDB issue, but had gradually recovered.
“Now with the Bandar Malaysia issue, all these concerns are resurfacing and it is affecting investor sentiment on the local market,” Lee said.
Across Bursa Malaysia, 3.45 billion shares worth RM2.89 billion were traded. Decliners outnumbered gainers at 824 against 185.
Besides the Bandar Malaysia and 1MDB factors, Malaysian shares could have also taken cue from anticipation of near-term U.S. interest rate hikes. Such sentiment followed the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy statement.
Reuters reported the Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged on Wednesday and downplayed weak first-quarter economic growth, while emphasising strength of the labour market, in a sign it was still on track for two more rate rises this year.
In a bullish statement following the end of a two-day policy meeting, the central bank also said consumer spending continued to be solid, business investment had firmed and that inflation has been "running close" to the Fed's target.
Source: The Edge