ug环球360( Glove and Hartalega to be booted out?

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PETALING JAYA: The poor valuation of glove stocks amid bearish sector fundamentals and lack of investor interest may signal underlying fears that the counters will likely be excluded from the FBM KLCI in the next biannual round of index component reviews in December.

The two glove makers in the FBM KLCI, Top Glove Corp Bhd and Hartalega Holdings Bhd, are likely to be excluded from the 30-stock index as their market capitalisation have fallen drastically.

Top Glove and Hartalega have seen their market capitalisation drop to RM8.1bil and RM9.7bil respectively.

Top Glove’s share price has plunged by almost 79% over the past 12 months to 98.5 sen yesterday while Hartalega has declined by 66.4% to RM2.82.

The only other FBM KLCI constituent with a market capitalisation of below RM10bil is tech concern Inari Amertron Bhd, which is valued at RM9.6bil.

A dealer said the exclusion of Top Glove and Hartalega is bound to happen as glove stocks are no longer the darling of investors as concerns grow about their pricing power the companies have in a product market suffering from oversupply.

Pankaj C. Kumar, the managing director of Datametrics Research and Information Centre, said Top Glove and Hartalega look set to exit FBM KLCI at a time when they are trading at nearly five-year lows.

Ironically, at its height in August 2020, Top Glove was 40 sen a share away from unseating Malayan Banking Bhd as the largest capitalised stock on Bursa Malaysia, after the former’s market capitalisation exceeded RM78bil.

At the same time, Hartalega emerged as one of the top five stocks valuable counter on FBM KLCI, with a market capitalisation of over RM58bil.

Glove stocks were the biggest beneficiary of Covid-19, as they rode high on skyrocketing demand for gloves and surging selling prices. However, the euphoria over glove companies was short-lived.

Supermax Corp Bhd, one of the Big Four local glove makers, was booted out of FBM KLCI in June 2021 after being added into FBM KLCI in December 2020.

In contrast, Hartalega was included in the benchmark index in June 2018, followed by Top Glove in December the same year.

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