BlackRock to trim investments

BLACKROCK Inc, the world's largest asset manager, said Malaysia's equities market is at a premium now, making it timely to trim its investments in the local market.

"Malaysia's valuation has moved up while other emerging markets have come down," said BlackRock director and portfolio manager of Asia fundamental equities Joshua Crabb.

"We would need to trim some of our investments and re-allocate to other markets that show potential for valuation appreciation," he said at a briefing on investing in Asian Equities, here, yesterday.

Asked if he is pessimistic on Malaysia's stock market, he qualified and said there areis still some pockets of opportunities in cyclical counters that can yield reasonable small returns.

Two weeks ago, as traditional window dressing came to play at the end of 2013, Bursa Malaysia hit a new high of 1,873.

Malaysia's valuation is seen to be at premium levels while other stock markets in the Southeast Asian region have sunk into bear market territory.

A few days ago, however, market sentiments turned cautious. Foreign fund outflows seemed to have outweighed domestic buying.

Yesterday, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI declined three points to close at 1,828. BIMB Securities Research, in its notes to investors, said it expects the FBM KLCI to remain subdued within the 1825-1830 range, on lack of buying impetus.

AmInvestment Bank, on the other hand, continues to see considerable investment appetite.

"We hope to grow our funds to RM40 billion by the end of 2014 as we seek to launch more funds in the months ahead. There's still a gap for product offerings in the market," said co-head of institution unit trusts agents Penny Leong.

Currently, the AmInvestment Bank group is managing some RM35 billion in assets.