KUALA LUMPUR: Public Bank and Hong Leong were among the top gainers early Wednesday as investors’ interest returned to these banking stocks.
At 9.37am, the FBM KLCI was up 20.91 points or 1.3% to 1,632.95. Turnover was 1.34 billion shares valued at RM762.41mil. There were 614 gainers, 224 losers and 334 counters unchanged.
Public Bank rallied RM1.04 to RM21.12 with 2.27 million shares done. Its shares had been running up, amid some pullbacks, following its record four-for-one bonus issue.
The entitlement date is on Jan 27 and ex-date on Jan 26.
CGS-CIMB Equities Research has an Add call for the bank and a target price of RM25.
The bank is its top pick among Malaysian banks as it believes the bank is the most defensive against credit risks arising from the Covid-19 outbreak.
The credit charge-off rate of 20-25bp it guided for FY20F is the lowest in the sector, CGS-CIMB Research said.
Hong Leong Bank was up 26 sen to RM17.76 with 3,800 shares done and it is a top favourite among analysts.