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The gainers and losers after the pandemic crush in 2020

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 31): The FBMKLCI Index ended the year in the red and retreated by 3.67% since the beginning of the year — making it one of the underperformers in the region. 

The local bourse witnessed sharp late buying activities minutes before the closing bell to settle 23.92 points or 1.55% higher to 1,567.53 on the last trading day of 2021.

Aside from Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index, which had a negative return of 14.08% due to regulatory crackdown on its tech sector stocks, which makes up the bulk of the index, other regional peers in the Asia Pacific region have done remarkably well, despite ongoing uncertainty with the Omicron variant, led by the Philippines (25.23%) and Thailand (14.37%).

Singapore and Indonesia have also fared much better than Bursa Malaysia, with a year-to-date (YTD) return of 9.84% and 10.08% respectively. 

Back home, the FBM Mid 70 Index had a worse year than the benchmark index by closing the year out with a 6.16% decline, while the broader FBM Top 100 Index fared marginally better but still with a 4.23% decline for 2021.

Amid the penny stocks fever last year, the FBM Small Cap Index only managed to eke out 1.25% YTD returns as the penny stocks fever subsided in 2021.

On the broader market, only three out of 12 sectors yielded a positive return in 2021. 

Bursa Malaysia Technology Index had emerged as top gainer with a 38.57% return, followed by the Transportation Index with 8.26%, and Finance Index with 1.63%.

Notably, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd (MPI) and Vitrox Corporation Bhd — which saw a 93.57% and 37.38% gain since the beginning of the year — have boosted the sharp gain in the Bursa Malaysia Technology Index. 

Meanwhile, the top laggard in the broader market was Healthcare Index with a negative return of 34.59%, predominantly due to heavy selling pressure among glove manufacturers. 

Since the beginning of the year, all major four rubber glove stocks have took a hit with Top Glove Corp Bhd down by 52.91%, Hartalega Holdings Bhd (-43.52%), Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd (-51.27%) and Supermax (-73.32%).

On the other hand, despite a rally in the crude oil price in 2021, the Bursa Malaysia Energy Index emerged as the second top loser with a negative return of 21.48%. 

That said, the FBM KLCI is not that far from pre-pandemic levels, although it ended the year in the red.

On a two-year horizon since the outbreak of the coronavirus, the FBMKLCI had recovered by 28.52% or 347.81 points, from a low of 1,219.72 points on March 19 last year during the global equity rout.

Meanwhile, the next 70 companies under the FBM Mid 70 Index had closed the year at 14,209.95 points, with an impressive 54.55% or 5,015.69 points gained, compared with the low of 9,194.26 points in March last year.

The broader market in the FBM Top 100 Index reflected similar recoveries with a 34% or 2,800.50 points upwards change to close the year at 11,015.13 points, from the pandemic low of 8,214.63 points.

The Edge has compiled data on the stocks that have rebounded and climbed further after the pandemic crash in March 2020, as well as the underperformers that bear the brunt of the Covid-19 outbreak (see attachment on the right).


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