Malaysia ETF Surges as Mahathir Takes Office

Malaysian equities have been on a wild ride, with the Malaysia ETF surging on Monday after the opposition party surprised observers by winning the office for the first time in six decades.

The iShares MSCI Malaysia ETF (NYSEArca: EWM) jumped 5.6% Monday, paring the previous week’s losses on the knee-jerk political risk selling in response to the election surprise.

The market was shut for three days last week as Mahathir Mohamad led an alliance to unexpectedly beat the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, Bloomberg reports.

However, the markets were assuaged by prime minister of Malaysia, Mahathir’s first remarks that revealed his stance for a business-friendly administration and search for ways to boost the nation’s equity market. For instance, Mahathir’s coalition pledged to abolish the country’s current goods and services tax, along with fuel subsidies and minimum wage realignment.

Mahathir Could Benefit the Consumer Sector

Gan Eng Peng, director of equities strategy and advisory at Affin Hwang Asset Management, argued that Mahathir’s vow to nullify the nation’s current goods and services tax, fuel subsidies and minimum wage realignment could benefit the consumer sector.