Report: Malaysia’s institutional funds lost RM55b amid global equity rout

EPF suffered the biggest loss at an estimated RM24.7 billion year to date based on yesterday’s closing price. — Picture by Hari Anggara
EPF suffered the biggest loss at an estimated RM24.7 billion year to date based on yesterday’s closing price. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, March 18 — Four of the country’s key institutional funds have in total lost RM55.7 billion since the start of year as the Covid-19 crisis took a toll on the global equities market and hit economies worldwide, The Edge reported today.

EPF, PNB, KWAP and Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s stocks registered massive losses in equity value totaling some RM55 billion, while governments around the world scramble to contain the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

EPF suffered the biggest loss at an estimated RM24.7 billion year to date (YTD) based on yesterday’s closing price.

Shares of Public Bank Bhd, touted as one of the fund’s strongest equities, accounted for the biggest share in losses by portfolio, with up to RM5 billion paper value wiped out since the start of last year.

“As much as RM2.84 billion has been erased from the provident fund’s books on its equity stake in Public Bank alone in less than three months since January,” The Edge reported citing the Bloomberg data.

Public Bank is one of the most expensive banking stocks in South East Asia in terms of price-to-book value. Its shares have been on a decline since July last year. The banking stock has slid 28.5 per cent YTD to RM13.90 — the lowest since August 2013.

Meanwhile, the country’s largest asset management company, PNB, saw its Amanah Saham Bumiputera Trustee Fund’s (ASBTF) equity investment value (shareholdings of above 10 per cent in 19 companies) shrink by RM16.52 billion since the start of 2020.

PNB’s Yayasan Pelaburan Bumiputera (YPB), another major investment fund, saw its equity portfolio lose some RM1.31 billion in book value.

The asset manager saw a combined total market value of RM17.83 billion evaporated from ASBTF and YPB in the span of 12 weeks, The Edge reported.

ASBTF’s equity investment portfolio, accounting for shareholdings of more than 10 per cent in 18 companies, lost some RM16.52 billion. Sime Darby Plantation Bhd, whose shares as much contracted as RM3.99 billion, accounted for most of the losses.

The fund owns a 44.96 per cent equity stake in the plantation group.

It’s other major holding — Maybank — has declined by RM4.97 billion since the start of 2020, skidding 14.8 percent YTD. The fund’s stake in Maybank was worth RM28.6 billion as of yesterday. PNB owns a 34.57 per cent stake in Maybank.

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