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Affin Hwang Capital head of research Alan Tan Chew Leong (left), AmInvestment Bank head of retail research Joseph Chai and Public Investment Bank head of research, Ching Weng Jin (right) participated in the 2nd Half Market Outlook during the Inter-Varsity Shock Challenge 2019, organised by N2N Connect Bhd at Bursa Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. NSTP photo by SALHANI IBRAHIM

KUALA LUMPUR: Economists and analysts recently forecast Malaysia's economy to grow at 4.5 per cent this year to RM1.51 trillion from 2018's current price of RM1.45 trillion.

"Since January until now, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KL Composite Index has fluctuated and been on a downtrend recently due to the uncertainty from prolonged US-China trade war, that have also exacerbated performances of stock markets across the region," said Affin Hwang Capital head of research and economist Alan Tan.

"In anticipation of threat of global supply trade disruptions, with likely new tariffs being imposed on China goods, we take a cautious view on the global economy, going forward.

Malaysia's economic growth is expected to slow down but remain healthy at 4.5 per cent this year from 2018's 4.7 per cent due to steady domestic demand," Tan added.

Tan is part of a panel discussion recently held in conjunction with the Inter-Varsity Stock Challenge 2019 (IVSC) that is endorsed by Bursa Malaysia.

The IVSC was jointly organised by N2N Connect Bhd with Affin Hwang Capital, Macquarie Capital Securities, Public Investment Bank and AmInvestment Bank which mentored 3,000 students from Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), Multimedia University (MMU) and Taylor’s University throughout the 3-month virtual trading competition.

The other panellists are Public Investment Bank head of research Ching Weng Jin and AmInvestment Bank head of retail research Joseph Chai.

Ching also foresaw this year Malaysia's gross domestic product (GDP) would grow slower at 4.5 per cent from 2018's economic value of RM1.45 trillion.

"We think the economy would grow slower and the Finance Ministry when tabling Budget 2020 on October 11, 2019 in Parliament will most likely adopt an expansionary stance that would eventually trickle down to firmer consumer spending," Ching said.

In May 2019, the Department of Statistics Malaysia updated the base year from 2010 to 2015.

Malaysia's Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr. Mohd Uzir Mahidin had reportedly said by using data from the Economic Census 2016 and Supply and Use Tables 2015, the GDP base year of 2015 allows for a more accurate reflection of current economic conditions.

Therefore, for 2018, the chief statistician confirmed Malaysia's economy grew 4.7 per cent (at 2015 constant base prices) to RM1.45 trillion from RM1.38 trillion.

AmInvestment Bank's Chai concurred with Tan and Ching that amid volatility in the stock markets and ongoing trade wars disrupting global value chains, investors can seize trading opportunities.

"Market movements are a lot faster, with shorter period, higher swings. It's how we respond. So, we need to adapt to this new norm," said Chai.

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