By GH Kok
What's the market impact of a Pakatan win?
As the 13th general elections looms, many people are wondering what the impact will be on the financial markets in Malaysia in the event of a Pakatan win. Well, there is no precedent in Malaysia. We never had a change of federal government - one of the very few countries left in the world that hasn't had a change of government.
However, we can use precedence from other countries around the region. Let's look at Indonesia. In 1998, General Suharto was overthrown after 33 years in power. At least a million people went to the streets and demanded his overthrow. The ensuing chaos led to his resignation.
The Jakarta Composite Index (JKSE) dropped to a low of 245. Five years after his downfall, the JKSE doubled, and another five years later, it reached 900 percent appreciation, and currently it stands at a record high of 1,700 percent appreciation. That means, if you had invested RM10,000 in Jakarta stocks at the height of the revolution, it would be worth RM180,000 today. Not a bad investment.
Let's look at Thailand. The Thai SET Stock Index Chart shows that the Index has reached a record 5-year high today and has been climbing consistently for the last 4 years despite the chaos in Bangkok in May 2010 and the subsequent general elections in July 2011, where the Pheu Thai Party defeated the Democrat Party of PM Abhisit.
Let's look at Taiwan. In the year 2000, Chen Shui-bian won a historic election in Taiwan, breaking the Kuomintang's 55-year monopoly on power. In 2004, the pro-Independence Chen stood for re-election. He - and his vice-presidential candidate - were shot during a re-election campaign, at the same time China amassed warships around the islands threatening to attack if the people voted for him. He won anyway.
The TSEC chart shows that the market reacted to the events but it never fails to bounce back.
Let's look at South Korea. In 1980, martial law was declared. This was followed by the Kwangju massacre. By 1997, 1 million people flood the streets to demand General Chun Doo Hwan's resignation. He eventually did. After he stepped down, President Roh-Tae-woo took over followed by another four presidents. All through this time, the markets were hitting new heights . Today the KOSPI is at a 25-year high.
So history shows us that revolutions and change of governments presents great ‘buying opportunities’ for stocks. It's good for the markets and good for investment. Stay tuned for the greatest stock buying opportunity of all time. In Malaysia.