We are in for some difficult times ahead, even before the implementation of GST. As an oil producing country, we are affected by the drastic drop in oil prices. Though we might be able to get some benefits out of it, we have yet to see it translated into lower fuel prices. The government will face lower revenues from Petronas but has to maintain salaries and bonuses as well as hand-outs like BR1M.
I have just read an article which revealed that some top oil and gas related companies listed on Bursa Saham Malaysia had their market capitalizations reduced by Rm33 billions when compared with their prices as at July 1, 2014.
We, the public, are definitely going to be affected adversely from this drastic drop in share prices, in one way or other. If even Petronas has to cut capex or other related expenditures by 20%, it would affect those relying on the company for their business revenues. They in turn, would reduce their spendings and affect lesser companies who rely on them for business. Employees of such companies would face no salary increases, bonuses, or even the sack! The effects would eventually be felt by the people, in terms of purchases of houses, cars or even going out to fancy restaurants or entertainment centres.
To the super rich, who each owns and controls such companies, their personal wealth would have been reduced (at least on paper) by hundreds of millions, if not billions. To put in perspective, a super rich could have sold off all his shares on July 1, put all his money in the bank and now buy back at less than half or even one third of what he sold for. Just imagine what he could have done with the profits made! But the reality is that he cannot do that, unless he was already prepared to lose control of his companies. But even the effect of just selling some shares could mean making enough to buy extra properties and luxury cars.
To ordinary mortals like us, most of us would have kept some shares and see them losing values, day after day until they are worth probably half of what they used to. For those who kept all their money in the share market, it could have been worse because each time he needs money, he has to sell shares at a loss... reluctantly but with no choice. It might be a good time to switch from not-so-good counters to really good ones, but the feeling of realising book losses to do that can have the effect of 'seller's remorse' - a term I have just learned from watching Pickers!
I have just found the link to the article in Kinibiz: