Top gainers and losers in the Year of the Water Rabbit

TheEdge Fri, Feb 09, 2024 09:00am - 2 months View Original


KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 9): While the Water Rabbit symbolism is associated with Yin Water or Gui element that is similar to mist, rain or snow, and is thought to bring a gloomy year, the FBM KLCI seems to have shrugged off this element towards the end of the Chinese lunar calendar year.

Just before the Year of the Water Rabbit draws to a close and we welcome the Year of the Wood Dragon on Feb 10, the KLCI managed to surpass the stiff resistance level of 1,500 points on Jan 15.

Nevertheless, the optimism in the early part of the year might not represent positivity for the stock market for the rest of the year. This is because the KLCI also breached the 1,500 points around the same time last year, before it trended lower for most of the first half of 2023.

Looking back throughout the year of the Water Rabbit, the water element can be seen in effect for the KLCI, as the index lagged behind some of its regional peers.

With an increase of just 0.8% throughout the year, the benchmark index lagged behind the Jakarta Composite Index’s 5.24% return and the Philippines Stock Exchange Index‘s 15.32%.

Nevertheless, the KLCI is ahead of Singapore’s Straits Times Index (STI) and the Stock Exchange of Thailand Index (SET), as both of these indices were in the red for 2023. The STI declined by 4.58% in 2023, while the SET was drowned, with a return of -17.21%.

On the other hand, the midcap index Bursa Malaysia Mid 70 Index had a good year in the year of the Water Rabbit, surging 12.31%, while the FBM Small Cap Index saw a decent 6.24% increase during the year. FTSE Bursa Malaysia ACE Index, meanwhile, declined 14.12%.

Some sectors had benefitted so far throughout the year of the Water Rabbit. The utilities sector was the biggest gainer during the year with 78.08% increase, followed by the property sector (36.04%) and the construction sector (34.14%).

Meanwhile, the industrial products and services had a bad year under the Water Rabbit sign, declining 8.56% during the year, followed by the technology sector (-7.64%) and consumer products and services (-5.92%).

Small-cap down the rabbit hole

It is worth highlighting that the Water Rabbit seemed to have startled in the final month of its year as the stock market saw several penny stock counters experiencing significant drops.

Subsequently, the three biggest losers among companies with a market capitalisation between RM100 million and RM500 million for the Rabbit year were Rapid Synergy Bhd (-92.6%), YNH Property Bhd (-85.83%) and Imaspro Corp Bhd (-78.3%), which saw prominent investor Dr Yu Kuan Chon as the common substantial stakeholder.

Interestingly, Sarawak Consolidated Industries Bhd (SCIB) managed to finish the race with a striking leap of 144.83% throughout the Rabbit year and land among the top gainers. This comes despite the counter hitting limit-down several times in January, plummeting from RM1.16 to 29 sen within the same week.

Top gainers

Among the super big cap companies with more than RM10 billion market capitalisation, YTL Power International Bhd topped the list of gainers as it hopped by 467.38% throughout the Water Rabbit year.

Meanwhile, its 55.6%-parent YTL Corp Bhd leapt by 322.02% within the lunar year. Both of the stocks hit their all-time highs in December last year. Other property giants also emerged as super big-cap gainers, including IOI Properties Group Bhd (89.24%), Sunway Bhd (79.08%) and Gamuda Bhd (32.67%).

The trend continued for the group of companies with RM1 billion to RM10 billion market cap, as companies related to the construction and building material industries such as UEM Sunrise Bhd (329.17%), WCE Holdings Bhd (191.67%) and Hume Cement Industries Bhd (190.22%) emerged among the top gainers.

Among the mid-caps (RM500 million to RM1 billion), Central Global Bhd (224.62%) topped the list, followed by PBA Holdings Bhd (216.08%) and Teo Seng Capital Bhd (180.33%)

Despite the penny stock selling wave, a total of 18 counters among the small caps recorded a gain of at least 100% in the Water Rabbit year. The top gainer was SMRT Holdings (425.7%), followed by TAS Offshore Bhd (205.1%), Minetech Resources Bhd (175.3%), Pelikan International Corp Bhd (163.5%) and PWF Corp Bhd (160%).

Top losers

For the big caps with over RM10 billion market cap, the biggest declines were led by Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd (-31.71%), MR DIY Group (M) Bhd (-25.19%) and Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd (-18.35%). Meanwhile, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd (-12.25%) and its subsidiary Hong Leong Bank Bhd (-5.96%) were the only two financial institutions that witnessed a loss in the Rabbit year.

The biggest laggards among the stocks in the RM1 billion to RM5 billion market cap category were dominated by the manufacturing and technology industries due to the delay in the recovery of global demand.

Electrical and electronics (E&E) plastic products manufacturer SKP Resources topped the losers list with a decline of 56.4% since the Rabbit year, followed by Hextar Industries Bhd (-49.32%) and Dagang NeXchange Bhd (-45.45%).

Of the stocks in the RM500 million to RM1 billion market cap category, Oppstar Bhd was unable to buck the downtrend in the technology sector and topped the losers list with a loss of 53.31%. Berjaya Food Bhd came in a close second (-43.09%) as its brand Starbucks faced immense boycott pressure from Malaysian consumers due to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian crisis.
 

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