The week that was - LTAT takeover, factory output, Bursa trading

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LTAT aborts takeover plan

SHARES in Boustead Holdings Bhd tumbled after trade resumed Tuesday on news that controlling shareholder Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) has aborted a plan to buy out minority shareholders and take the company private.

The decision came eight months after LTAT, which owns a 59.4% stake in Boustead, announced that it was planning to delist the company.

Boustead group managing director Datuk Seri Mohammed Shazalli Ramly said both parties have decided to focus on Boustead’s strategies to rejuvenate the group. It has stakes in several listed entities. It has controlling interest in 65% owned Boustead Heavy Industries Corp Bhd, a 57.4% stake in Boustead Plantations Bhd and 56% in Covid-19 vaccine-maker Pharmaniaga Bhd.

It also has a 20.7% stake in Affin Bank Bhd.

Factory output drops

THE manufacturing sector contracted for a sixth straight month in January, according to a survey compiled by IHS Markit.

The movement control order or MCO 2.0 has contributed to the latest monthly decline in the widely-watched Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI).

New exports order, too, has moderated in January due to Covid-19 disruptions worldwide. Input prices rose to the fastest rate since May 2017 due to the difficulties in sourcing and receiving items that arose as a result of the tight restrictions, MIDF Research said on Tuesday. Despite supply delays and new lockdowns around the world, manufacturers remained confident that output would increase in the next 12 months.

Trading frenzy boosts Bursa

Bursa Malaysia Bhd, the stock exchange operator, on Tuesday posted record profits for year ended Dec 31,2020 as average daily trading value (ADTV) more than doubled to RM4.2bil.

The ADTV of both domestic institutional and retail investors surged 118% and 236% respectively in 2020. Bursa Malaysia derives the bulk of its income from fees charged on every transactions of shares.

Analysts expected ADTV to average at around RM4bil, despite the weaker market sentiment in January. The FBM KLCI fell 60 points to end the month at 1,566 points – its lowest level since November 2020.

Reddit-inspired rally fizzles out

THE uptrend in stock prices of GameStop and other social media darlings on Wall Street subsided on Wednesday, a day after a steep plunge, as investors brace for the possibility of tighter US trading regulations.

The head of the US Securities and Exchange Commission will meet with Treasury secretary Janet Yellen and the heads of the Federal Reserve and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a Treasury official told Reuters.

Yellen had asked to discuss the recent volatility and whether trade had been consistent with fair and efficient markets.

On the local bourse, glove stock prices have steadied after a surge last Friday.

Local stock market regulators had warned that they would take the “necessary measures” to curb disruptive trading practice and market abuse. It was reported that a group of retail investors bandied together under BursaBets to take on glove stocks short sellers.

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