KUALA LUMPUR: Shares of utility giant Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) have fallen 7.27 per cent over two days amid the continued heavy selling pressure on the local stock market.

TNB’s shares fell to as low as RM13.80 yesterday, before recovering to close 2.7 per cent lower or 40 sen down at RM14.28 for a market capitalisation of about RM81.08 billion.

On Wednesday, TNB shares tumbled 4.55 per cent or 70 sen to RM14.68.

Compared with its RM15.38 close on Tuesday, the two-day selldown has wiped out about RM6.2 billion of the utility giant’s market capitalisation.

Inter-Pacific Securities research head Pong Teng Siew said foreign selling was heavy in the last two days, but the dip is not expected to persist as foreign funds were already underweight.

“Selling Malaysisn stocks always means selling heavyweight index stocks for the foreign funds. For today (Thursday), it is Tenaga shares. Yesterday it was the telcos. But I do not expect it to continue for long,” he told NST Business.

TNB’s institutional investors are comprised of Khazanah Nasional Bhd (28.08 per cent), Employees Provident Fund (12.56 per cent), Skim Amanah Saham Bumiputera (8.86 per cent) and Kumpulan Wang Persaraan Diperbadankan (5.42 per cent).

Tenaga shares are at a 17 per cent discount to the analysts' consensus target price and the stock has traded at an average 9.8 per cent discount over the past year.

The selldown was worsened as the local bourse ended in the red in line with Asian markets as investors remained on the sidelines on heightened volatility in the global markets.

The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) declined 26.69 points or 1.54 per cent to end at 1,708.49 versus Wednesday’s close of 1,735.18.

On Bursa Malaysia’s scoreboard, market breadth was negative with losers hammering gainers 993 to 116 while 286 counters were unchanged, 479 untraded and 18 others were suspended.

Volume was higher at 3.10 billion units valued at RM3.70 billion against Wednesday's 3.02 billion units valued at RM2.96 billion.

Regionally, Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 3.89 per cent to 22,590.86, Singapore's Straits Times Index eased 2.61 per cent to 3,049.87 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 3.54 per cent to 25,266.37.

The US market plunged overnight to an eight-month low, following sharp declines in technology counters amid concerns over rising interest rates.

The International Monetary Fund recently warned that risks were building up in the global financial system, coupled with a further escalation in the trade tensions between the US and China which could push the situation over the edge.

"The regional markets are at a badly bashed-down state. Malaysia is a little bit better than most markets in the region. Most markets have taken a beating and have not recovered.

"I think this is part of a long process, involving liquidity slowly being sucked out of the market everywhere – not just equities but also bonds, commodities and currencies as they are interlinked – and the impact is creeping up," Pong told Bernama.

He added that the global liquidity had been on the ebb since April.

On the oil market, Brent crude down 1.95 per cent to US$81.47 per barrel.

Among other Bursa Malaysia's heavyweights, Maybank contracted 23 sen to RM9.28, IHH Healthcare fell 25 sen to RM5, CIMB and Digi decreased 18 sen each to RM5.66 and RM4.39, respectively, while Genting Malaysia was 25 sen easier at RM4.41.

As for actives, Sapura Energy and Borneo Oil both edged up half-a-sen to 36.5 sen and six sen, respectively, Gamuda surged 23 sen to RM2.30, Hibiscus Petroleum went down six sen to RM1.19, MYEG gave up five sen to RM1.47 and Sime Darby was down by three sen to RM2.60.

Ends

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