KUALA LUMPUR: The Minority Shareholders Watch Group (MSWG) has advised all retail investors to exercise caution in their dealing of stocks, especially due to recent calls in social media to shore up the share price of certain stocks. In a statement issued on Friday, MSWG said some retail investors have decided to take on institutional investors who short certain shares. “In ‘bursabets’ a new subreddit on social news aggregator site Reddit, Malaysian retail investors have been discussing buying up stocks of glove makers. “Their issue is that the share prices of glove companies having dropped in recent months despite the increasing profits reported by these firms. The retail investors are looking to buy shares of medical glove makers in an attempt to drive up their prices and counter the short sellers who tend to drive the prices down, ” it said. MSWG said these retail investors are inspired by the recent “David vs Goliath” battle in US firm GameStop Corp. Shares of GameStop surged 1,700% in just two weeks as the Main Street piled in and forced hedge funds like Melvin Capital Management to lose billions on their short positions. It pointed out these small investors discussed stocks on the “wallstreetbets” forum on Reddit anonymously and have fuelled the GameStop rally. Locally, share of glovemakers such as Top Glove Corporation Bhd jumped 14.33% to intraday high of RM7.10 on Friday morning. Hartalega Holdings Bhd’s share price rose 10% to intraday high of RM13.42. MSWG minority shareholders to exercise diligence and be aware of the risks involved in such initiatives. “Generally, institutional investors tend to have deeper pockets. This is not to underestimate the retailers purchasing power. At the end of the day, it may become an issue of who has deeper pockets and the stamina to sustain their initiatives. “Secondly, there may be some unscrupulous retailers including ‘stockmarket gurus’ who may unload their shares after having encouraged other retailers to drive up the share prices. “The Securities Commission has constantly warned members of the public against dealing with unlicensed investment advisers as they could be defrauded or used as part of a market manipulation scheme. “Eventually, such action by both parties in trying to counter each other will create volatility in the share prices and this may be a risk to the short-term investors, ” it said.
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