The Malaysian stock market has not seen the excitement it has experienced this year in a very long time. Daily traded volumes surged to alltime record highs and, though currently off the peak, investor interest has remained robust.

The primary catalyst, without a doubt, is the increased participation of retail investors, many of whom have time and excess cash in hand during the pandemic — owing to a confluence of factors such as the movement restrictions, automatic loan moratorium and falling interest rates. Retail investors have been huge buyers on Bursa Malaysia so far this year, outpacing even local institutional funds, while foreign funds have been consistent net sellers.

This retail-led rally has generated a wealth effect for Malaysian investors, which likely helped underpin the relative resilience in domestic consumption. It has certainly been hugely profitable for stockbrokers.

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