PETALING JAYA: International investors took out a whopping RM1.26 billion net of local equities last week, the largest weekly foreign net outflow in 88 weeks.

“Offshore investors upped the ante in selling activity last week,“ MIDF Research in its weekly fund flow report today.

It said Bursa had a sluggish start last week as foreign investors only sold RM74.3 million net of local equities on Monday.

The level of foreign net selling activity then accelerated to RM202.8 million net on Tuesday, taking cue of the Dow Jones index which lost more than 1,000 points overnight.

Foreign net selling peaked during the week on Wednesday at RM362.0 million following the increase in number of Covid-19 cases in South Korea which exceeded 1,000. The spike of cases in South Korea reinforces that the spread of the virus outside China is accelerating. Wednesday’s heavy sell-off was in conformity with regional peers.

Worries intensified on Thursday as South Korea reported 505 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, marking the first time a country posted more new infections than mainland China. As such, foreign funds sold RM291.5 million net on Bursa.

International funds continued to sell on Friday at a heightened level of RM333.4 million net, extending the foreign net selling streak on Bursa to seven days.

“The local stock barometer followed suit, declining by 1.5%, closing at 1,482.6 points on Friday, a level not seen since 2011 amidst Malaysia’s political situation.,”MIDF said.

It added that the month of February saw a foreign net outflow of RM1.97 billion, the largest monthly foreign net outflow since August 2019 which saw international funds taking out RM2.60 billion.

“Meanwhile, the foreign net outflow from Malaysia on a year-to-date basis stands at RM2.11 billion, the third smallest amongst the seven Asian markets under our coverage.”

In terms of participation, the average daily traded value (ADTV) of foreign investors surged the most by 100% for the week to reach a healthy level of RM1.93 billion.