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Shares in Top Glove and other Malaysian glove manufacturers soared last year, spurred by global medical demand.   © AFP/Jiji
Market Spotlight

Malaysia stocks lag as glove makers lose grip on investors

COVID-19 resurgence and political turmoil dragging on market

P PREM KUMAR, Nikkei staff writer | Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia's stock market, which got a boost last year from companies that did well out of the coronavirus pandemic, is now a COVID-19 loser -- to the point where it stands out in 2021 as one of Asia's worst performing markets.

Last year, shares in the country's glove manufacturers rose exponentially as investors saw them capitalizing on soaring worldwide demand for medical gloves -- an essential part of the personal protective equipment used to combat the spread of the virus. Shares in Top Glove, Supermax and Hartalega, which together provide more than half the global supply of gloves, shot up by 170%, 1,233% and 147%, respectively, between May and December last year. They helped propel the benchmark index Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI), which rose 22% over the same period.

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