Malaysia stocks slump as investors wake to election risks
KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) - Malaysian stocks suffered their biggest drop in 16 months on Monday, as investors woke up to the risks of what is expected to be the country's closest national election.
Speculation that Prime Minister Najib Razak would call the election has been swirling as far back as 2011, but his window for going to the polls is narrowing fast ahead of an April 28 deadline for dissolving Parliament.
Investors have been lukewarm on Malaysian stocks for the past few months compared to most of its regional peers. On Monday, they rushed for the exits after rumours circulated online over the weekend that Mr Najib was poised to hold the election as early as March.
"People are worried about the elections. That's the trigger," said an analyst at a local investment bank who declined to be identified.