Pressure easing: Nearly RM1bil worth of shares were short sold on the first trading day of 2021, with over 94% of the short-selling volume recorded among the big four glove stocks. PETALING JAYA: Short-selling pressure on Bursa Malaysia appears to have eased as the stock market’s bellwether index snapped a two-day slump, ending the day on its intraday high. The FBM KLCI rose by 5.78 points or 0.36% to 1,608.35 yesterday, although sentiment across the stock market remains muted with 676 losers and 479 gainers. Led by glove counters, the healthcare sector outperformed the otherwise negative market. Just a day earlier, the glove stocks took a beating due to pressure from short-sellers. Nearly RM1bil worth of shares were short sold on the first trading day of 2021, with over 94% of the short-selling volume recorded among the big four glove stocks. Top Glove Corp Bhd alone, whose share price declined by more than 10% on Monday, contributed to nearly 63% of the short-selling volume worth RM573.22mil.Based on the data from Bursa Malaysia, other glove stocks affected by the re-introduced regulated short selling (RSS) were Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Supermax Corp Bhd and Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd. While the RSS activities were muted across other stocks, they were notable to a certain extent among AirAsia Group Bhd, Bursa Malaysia Bhd, KNM Group Bhd and Widad Group Bhd. Overall, RSS activities were recorded in a total of 68 stocks, with a cumulative short-selling value of RM948.42mil. For comparison, there are 920 stocks listed on Bursa Malaysia, comprising a total of 785 on the Main Market and 135 stocks on the ACE Market. Bursa Malaysia and the Securities Commission have lifted the temporary suspension on RSS activities from Jan 1, with the enhanced control measures to ensure stability and maintain investor confidence. The daily gross short position limit for approved securities will be temporarily reduced from 3% to 2%, and a new cap of 4% on RSS aggregated net short position will be introduced. However, the temporary suspension on the intraday short selling (IDSS) and intraday short selling by proprietary day traders (PDT short sale) which had been due to expire on Dec 31,2020, will be extended to Feb 28 this year. The capital market regulators first introduced the temporary suspension of short-selling activities on March 24 last year, barely one week after the FBM KLCI slumped by over 200 points in the March 11-19 period.
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