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Telekom Malaysia, Fund Sells Stakes in Best-Performing Stocks

Telekom Malaysia, Fund Sells Stakes in Best-Performing Stock
A sign for TM Point, a subsidiary of Telekom Malaysia Bhd., is displayed in front of the KL Tower in downtown Kuala Lumpur. Photographer: Goh Seng Chong/Bloomberg

Telekom Malaysia Bhd. and the nation’s biggest pension fund sold stakes in two of the country’s best-performing stocks, taking advantage of rising inflows of foreign funds that helped to boost share prices.

Telekom, the state-controlled fixed telephone operator, raised 414 million ringgit ($131 million) selling 90 million shares of Axiata Group Bhd., two people with knowledge of the transaction said. The Employees Provident Fund, Malaysia’s biggest pension fund, sold a 4.5 percent stake in RHB Capital Bhd. for 746 million ringgit, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

“Investors’ risk appetite is there,” said Pankaj Kumar, who oversees $560 million as chief investment officer of Kurnia Insurans Malaysia Bhd. near Kuala Lumpur. The sales are helping to “create the liquidity within these stocks.”

Axiata’s 55 percent surge and RHB Capital’s 50 percent advance this year make the shares the best performers on the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index. The Southeast Asian benchmark gauge has risen 18 percent and reached an reached an intraday record of 1,531.99 on Nov. 10 as international investors purchased more of the nation’s stocks than at any time since at least 1995, according to data compiled by EPFR Global.

The share sales come after Prime Minister Najib Razak called on state-linked institutions in March to cut their stakes in public companies to boost stock market liquidity and attract foreign investors. Khazanah Nasional Bhd., a government investment agency, this year sold shares in companies including Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd., CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. and Telekom Malaysia Bhd.

Foreign funds were net buyers of Malaysian stocks for a sixth consecutive month through November, Tan Ting Min, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG said in a report today, citing data from the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange.

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