The government's RM7 billion stimulus package is seen to have a neutral effect on the economy with the financial markets being weighed down by slowing growth, an analyst said today.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced yesterday that 2009 growth rates will slide to 3.5 percent from the initial forecast of 5.4 percent while the 2008 gross domestic product (GDP) growth will contract to 5.0 percent from 5.7 percent.
“My sense is that the 3.5 per cent deficit forecast for next year is on the lower end,” Wong Ming Tek, a market analyst with international financial house HwangDBS Vickers told The Malaysian Insider over the phone.
He said the financial house is targeting a KLCI close of 950 end 2008 and 1060 by end of next year. The key indicator closed 905.8 points yesterday with a turnover of RM1.23 billion with 982 million shares traded.
Our recommendation to the market will be that our view of the Malaysian market is still underweight,” he added.
Wong held a very cautious view that the RM7 billion package would be able to boost the local economy.
“The impact on the market will only be mildly positive, at best. There is growth, but the growth is below expectations.
He noted that one of the few sectors that stand to receive better benefits from the limited liberalisation package would be property, both commercial and residential, due to the decreasing costs in construction, the unlocking of EPF contributions, liberalisation of Foreign Investment Committee (FIC) rules for foreign buyers and open tenders for development of strategic government land in the Klang Valley.
Wong also said that most Malaysians would probably feel the effects of the market on them personally, “but not in a major way.”
In his speech, Najib also projected the 2009 budget deficit to rise from 3.6 percent to 4.8 percent, which was higher than expected by the analyst.
The government is adopting an expansionary strategy to prevent recession, undertaking projects that will be funded by the reduction in oil subsidies.
By : Debra Chong, Malaysian Insider
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