Foreign investors’ exit from Bursa remains unabated in tandem with weak global markets

FOREIGN funds continued to leave Bursa Malaysia as net selling in the local bourse remains unabated for the fourth consecutive week.

Foreigners net sold -RM107.1 mil for the week ended March 24 which was much lower compared to the net selling amount of -RM536.0 mil on the week prior, according to MIDF Research.

“The highest net selling occurred on Monday (March 20) at -RM88.5 mil, followed by -RM59.43 mil on Thursday (March 23),” observed the research house in its weekly fund flow report. “All other days showed net inflows with a sum of RM40.8 mil. Foreign investors have been net sellers for the 15 trading days since March 1.”

Year-to-date (YTD), they have net sold -RM1.89 bil. Out of the 12 weeks so far this year, they have been net sellers for nine weeks.

The top three sectors that saw net foreign inflows were healthcare (RM90.0 mil), transportation and logistics (RM24.4 mil) and construction (RM15.9 mil) while the bottom three sectors that saw net foreign outflows were industrial products and services (-RM70.5 mil), utilities (-RM50.5 mil) and consumer products and services (-RM49.2 mil).

Meanwhile, local institutions continued to support domestic equities with their net buying for the fourth consecutive week.

They net bought RM13.5 mil last week, lower in comparison to RM566.7 mil recorded for the week ended March 17 which was the highest weekly amount in 2023 as well as the highest since the week ended Dec 9, 2022.

Similar to foreign funds, local institutions also showed a mixed bag of investment last week with the strongest inflow seen on Monday (March 20) at RM56.8 mil and largest outflow seen on Friday (March 24) at -RM77.90 mil.

As opposed to foreign investors, they have been net buyers every day since March 1 except for March 22 and March 24. Local institutions have net bought RM1.78 bil of equities YTD with nine out of 12 weeks of net buying.

Elsewhere, local retailers turned net buyers at a rate of RM84.7 mil last week. Like foreign funds and local institution, they also posted three days of net buying and two days of net selling last week.

Their strongest net inflow was recorded on Friday (Feb 24) at RM65.2 mil while the largest net outflow happened on Tuesday (March 27) at -RM21.1 mil. YTD, they have net bought RM99.5 mil of equities with seven out of 12 weeks of net buying.

In terms of participation, there was a dropped in average daily trading volume (ADTV) among local retailers by -16.3%, local institutions (-25.3%) and foreign investors (-41.1%).

In comparison with another four Southeast Asian markets tracked by MIDF Research last week, only Vietnam and the Philippines posted net foreign fund inflow with US$16.4 mil and US$4 mil respectively while Thailand continued to see net outflow with US$152.8 mil followed by Malaysia (US$24 mil) and Indonesia (US$8.0 mil).

The top three stocks with the highest net money inflow from foreign investors last week were IHH Healthcare Bhd (RM41.1 mil), Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd (RM23.3 mil) and Hartalega Holdings Bhd (RM22.3 mil). – March 27, 2023

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