This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily on March 2, 2020
KUALA LUMPUR: Investors are expected to roll the dice again on politically-linked stocks, some of which showed contrasting trends in the run-up to Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s appointment as Malaysia’s eighth prime minister.
Last Friday, two counters associated with Muhyiddin — Eden Inc Bhd and Thriven Global Bhd — edged up 8.33% and 10% respectively, following his nomination as prime ministerial candidate from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.
This came when the Pagoh member of parliament was said to have then interim premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s backing, for the premiership between Muhyiddin and PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Muhyiddin has since been appointed the new prime minister, but in the latest turn of events, Dr Mahathir renounced his support for the former home minister and is now challenging the latter’s appointment as prime minister, after the Pakatan Harapan presidential council allowed the 94-year-old political leader to wrestle back the top post.
Following Dr Mahathir’s announcement yesterday that Pakatan would seek a no-confidence vote against Muhyiddin in the Dewan Rakyat, it remains to be seen whether Eden and Thriven shares would continue to advance this week.
Eden and Thriven are linked to Muhyiddin’s son Datuk Fakhri Yassin Mahiaddin. Thriven is a property developer, while Eden’s businesses include food and beverage and tourism.
Eden gained one and half sen to close at 19.5 sen last Friday, while Thriven ended two sen higher at 22 sen. The two stocks declined to 18.5 sen and 20.5 sen respectively, two days earlier when Pakatan named Anwar as its prime minister candidate.
Four Anwar-linked stocks — MUI Properties Bhd, Malayan United Industries Bhd (MUI Group), Pan Malaysia Holdings Bhd and Advance Synergy Bhd (ASB) — showed less promising trends at the week’s close.
MUI Group and MUI Properties tumbled 2.70% to 18 sen and 6.98% to 20 sen respectively last Friday. Pan Malaysia closed the week flat at 11 sen. All three stocks had soared between 2.22% and 31.58% last Wednesday following Anwar’s nomination.
MUI Properties and Pan Malaysia are members of MUI Group, whose board members include Farizon Ibrahim, according to their websites. Farizon, Anwar’s younger sister, also sits on Pan Malaysia’s board.
ASB, spiking to a year’s high of 22 sen last Wednesday — when Anwar announced his candidacy for prime minister — saw its share price dropping 15.91% to 18.5 sen the next day when Dr Mahathir reportedly gave Muhyiddin the nod to run for the top post.
However, the stock clawed back half a sen to end the week marginally higher at 19 sen.
ASB is controlled by Datuk Ahmad Sebi Bakar, linked not only to former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin but also Anwar.
ASB, MUI Properties, Pan Malaysia and MUI Group are investment holding companies involved in various sectors from property and retail to palm oil and financial services, according to their websites.
Bursa Malaysia has been in the red over the last week, losing nearly 50 points or 3.17% to 1,482.64 — its lowest in a year so far — since Dr Mahathir’s resignation as the seventh prime minister on Feb 24.