KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 12 — The second week of 2020 saw foreign selling of equities on Bursa Malaysia slowing to RM28.25 million (from January 6-9) from RM138.35 million (December 30-January 2) despite the volatility surrounding the tensions between the United States (US) and Iran.

Meanwhile, retail investors recorded net sales of RM2.5 million, again smaller than RM13.93 million reported in the previous week.

Overall, Bursa Malaysia was supported by local institutions with total net purchases of RM30.75 million, according to Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid.

“This market has been volatile following the Iran military responses whereby more than a dozen projectile missiles have been launched, hitting US military bases in Iraq.

“However, there was no casualty reported. As such, risk aversion attitude was prevalent among the investors,” he told Bernama.

The US-Iran tensions grew after Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani was killed in a drone attack by the US last week.

The US reportedly tried to assassinate Iranian leader Abdul Reza Shahlai on the same day it killed Soleimani, but failed.

Yesterday, Iran President Hassan Rouhani in a series of Twitter posts said an armed forces internal investigation regrettably concluded that missiles fired due to human error caused the horrific crash of the Ukrainian plane near Tehran this week and the death of 176 innocent people.

Investigations are continuing to identify and prosecute those responsible for this great tragedy and unforgivable mistake, Rouhani said.

Hence, Afzanizam said going forward the markets will continue to be mindful of developments in the Middle East.

“However, there seems to be ongoing progress on the trade war between the US and China given that both countries will sign the Phase One deal on January 15.

“That should help improve market sentiment as both countries appear committed to reducing the trade tension,” he added.

On Monday, Supergenics Bhd made its debut on Bursa Malaysia’s Leading Entrepreneur Accelerator Platform (LEAP) Market at RM0.225, a 12.5 per cent premium over its issue price of RM0.20.

This is the first listing for Bursa Malaysia in 2020.

Supergenics is involved in the provision of integrated turnkey solutions for the development of cleanrooms and the provision of management services for cleanrooms, and is currently focused within the Klang Valley area.

Meanwhile, Ace Innovate Asia Bhd on Tuesday made its debut on Bursa Malaysia’s LEAP Market at 27 sen, a premium of one sen above its issue price of 26 sen.

The company, principally involved in bullion trading of physical gold products, is the second company to be listed on Bursa Malaysia for this year.

All top 30 counters on the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) slipped into the red on Wednesday amid tensions in the oil-rich region, including IHH and MAHB which have a presence in the Middle East. — Bernama