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Malaysia sells itself as good for a bounce-back

"If you track our market performance since the election in early March... there is probably less volatility" -Dato’ Yusli Mohamed Yusoff, Bursa Malaysia

Malaysia’s stock exchange was on the road in Asia in November, attempting to bolster interest in its markets from foreign investors. The message: that Malaysia has been fairly resilient to world market chaos, and that it’s well positioned for the bounce when it comes.

At first glance, it is a long shot to present Malaysia as having held up well while others have fallen. In 2008, Malaysia has performed better than every other Asian stock market bar Pakistan. But the Kuala Lumpur Composite index was still down 38.1% in the year to November 11, a worse performer than the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the FTSE 100.

In an odd way, though, there’s something in the argument. "Certainly our market is down, but it came down earlier because of the politics," says Dato’ Yusli Mohamed Yusoff, chief executive of Bursa Malaysia. "If you track our market performance since the election in early March... there is probably less volatility." He’s referring to the improving performance of the Anwar Ibrahim-led opposition in Malaysia, which has created the real prospect of a change of ruling party in Malaysia for the first time since the country was formed in 1963.

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