WHILE foreigners have been dumping Malaysian stocks for five straight weeks, David Gaud is doing the opposite.
The Asia chief investment officer of the US$220 billion (RM880 billion) Pictet Wealth Management has been buying Malaysian stocks after Pakatan Harapan’s election victory last month.
Gaud is bullish about Malaysia because of higher oil prices, its recovering ringgit and a narrowing deficit. The new government also bodes well for the country’s politics and economy.
“Dr Mahathir is lucky. He is able to implement new policy at a time when the economy is recovering. He’s got a chance to succeed,” Gaud told Bloomberg, referring to the country’s 92-year-old prime minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Malaysia’s economy is enjoying a strong rebound, with growth forecast to reach 5.5% to 6% this year. Much of that recovery has been on the back of an uptick in global trade and domestic demand.
Most foreign investors are still adopting a wait-and-see attitude on Malaysia, seeking more clarity on the new government’s economic strategies.
In particular, they want to see how the government is going to manage the loss of revenue from scrapping the goods and services tax, and what pressure this loss would have on the budget deficit.
Dr Mahathir’s administration has made it clear that it will embark on an austerity drive and cancel mega projects to tackle the country’s debt woes.
It also hopes that the introduction of the sales and services tax in September will offset some of the revenue loss from abolishing GST.