The Star. Kuala Lumpur. January 15, 2000
THE Federation of Public Listed Companies (FPLC) Bhd has expressed concern over the delay in resolving the Central Limit Order Book (Clob) shares issue.
Its president Datuk Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas said that time was of the essence and the Clob issue should be addressed urgently as it was causing uneasy sentiments on the stock markets in Malaysia and Singapore.
"The sooner it is resolved, the better it will be for the Composite Index to improve in the medium to long term, with investor confidence returning to the market," he said in a statement yesterday.
When contacted by Star Business, Najmuddin said it was unwise for Clob investors to wait too long for a "reasonable" offer for their frozen Malaysian securities which were previously traded on Singapore's Clob over-the-counter market.
"Investors have to make up their mind as time is of the essence here. What more do they want? The higher the market moves the more difficult it would be for them to settle the matter," he said.
"This is something that has been hanging over our heads for far too long. These investors can't have their cake and eat it too," he added.
Najmuddin said some of the offers by Malaysian companies to buy up the Clob shares were reasonable and should be considered seriously.
He said that although the Clob issue was more of the private sector's concern, both the Malaysian and Singaporean governments should act as facilitators to resolve it.
"Forcing the issue on the government through external bodies like the World Trade Organisation may not lead to a harmonious solution. Threats of court action will also not benefit anybody," he added.
Najmuddin said that investor confidence would be affected as long as the Clob issue remained unresolved although the market was picking up and gaining strength.
"Although the Clob issue arose from the separation of the SES (Stock Exchange of Singapore) and KLSE, it should not be overblown to the point of straining diplomatic relations," he added.