THE RECENT FUEL PRICE HIKE - THE HIGHEST IN LOCAL history - has painted a dismal picture for the country. The increase is likely to have a knock-on effect on the broad economy and put pressure on the profitability of companies already reeling from rising raw material costs and a slowdown in offtake.Analysts say while passing on the cost increases to consumers is an option, there is apprehension this could translate into falling sales.
Profiting From the Lacklustre Market
The stock market, already in lacklustre mood from the after- effects of the March 8 general election and high food prices, took an instant hit on June 4, the day after the fuel announcement was made, closing 30 points down.`Overall the impact is negative,' says CIMB Research head of economics Lee Heng Guie. But while the country would have to go through a significant adjustment, `it is short-term pain but long- term gain for the economy,' he adds.Indeed, many economists feel that the move, wh...