Taib-linked stocks dip on his passing

Analysts believe that his demise has brought about an “understandable knee-jerk reaction” from investors.

PETALING JAYA: A number of companies linked to former Sarawak chief minister Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud saw their share prices slide following his passing early yesterday morning, although a few managed to buck the trend.

Taib and his associates owned significant portions of several entities on Bursa Malaysia and analysts believe his demise has brought about an “understandable knee-jerk reaction” from investors, albeit a short-term one.

Some more notable names that experienced a share price pullback include building materials manufacturer Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd (CMS), dipping one sen to close at RM1.02 at the bell yesterday, while oil and gas group Dayang Enterprise Holdings Bhd shaved off seven sen to settle at RM2.23, although the latter has seen its stock post a 39% increase year-to-date.

Other Taib-linked counters that lost on the day include Ta Ann Holdings Bhd, which dropped six sen to close at RM3.79, Sarawak Plantation Bhd lost one sen to touch RM2.25, as well as Sarawak Cable Bhd and WTK Holdings Bhd.

Bucking the trend, however, are integrated property developer Naim Holdings Bhd, which saw its share price rise 3.5 sen to close at 90 sen yesterday, as financial institution Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd also added one sen to settle at RM1.17 at 5pm yesterday.

CMS is the flagship of Taib-linked business with the family controlling just over 22% of the group, which has exposure in all segments of the economic pie in Sarawak. Meanwhile, the family owns 18.93% interest in Kenanga Investment.

An analyst with a local research house opined that the dips observed in several counters related to the seventh Sarawak governor is not unexpected, pointing out that the FBM KLCI also fell by 3.19 points, or 0.2%, yesterday to close at 1,552.40.

“With Taib having controlled a notable percentage of companies on the index, such an immediate reaction can be anticipated. However, logic dictates that this should be a short-term occurrence,” he told StarBiz.He said many of these stocks have strong fundamentals and are profitable, such as Dayang, Kenanga Investment Bank, CMS and Sarawak Plantations.

“As such, we believe that these stable companies will show resilience and bounce back soon,” he added.

On top of that, with the recent rise in oil prices which has led to a rebound for the oil and gas sector, the analyst said prospects are looking bright for companies such as Dayang.

Taib, who passed away just three months short of his 88th birthday on May 21, was the fourth chief minister of Sarawak, overseeing the largest state in the country for nearly 33 years from March 1981 to February 2024.

Thereafter, he was appointed the Yang di-Pertua of Sarawak and held the post for 10 years before being succeeded by Tun Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

Interestingly, Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimated that Taib and his family owned assets that are worth more than US$1bil, but other sources have approximated that he was likely worth significantly more.

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