Monday, March 19, 2012

Vellapan To the Markets?

A good friend just got back from holidays with her kids and asked what happened to the Malaysian markets? She said that I wrote about the bull market being back and so on. I said, yes, everywhere else the bull is moving steadily... but in Malaysia there are two things which pulled it back. 

One was the article saying EPF had sold so much shares. That article was true and factual but not complete. And by being incomplete, it gives off the wrong signal to a lot of retail investors. We all know how much retail investors' participation there was since the beginning of the year. Go to any broking gallery now and ask them what shares they are buying, they'd be saying how to buy shares when even EPF is selling.

The article is incomplete in that to be a fair article, it has to note the times when EPF has been selling, how about every March for the past few years? I suspect it is portfolio rebalancing rather than an actual selling because, seriously, the article did not note the amount of local shares EPF is holding. It is more likely to be a seasonal effect, just as EPf is more likely to do window dressing towards year end closing. 

As a percentage of holdings its so miniscule. But if you did not elaborate, the general public will think something is amiss. Anyway, bygones be bygones.

The second effect which is a relatively new phenom, as families grew richer, school holidays are a must to venture somewhere. It is almost akin to the Western world's Christmas holidays. This is a relatively new phenom, maybe for the past 3 years or so. There you go, shifting cultural and social norms. I can safely say that almost one third of the movers and shakers in the market place were on holidays - how to move the markets?

Then I tried to extricate myself by saying, the bulls are primarily first into indexed stocks, which is why index wise everywhere have held up. Then after a while, it will move to the broader market. I know one and all are hoping that I am right.