#Hot Stocks* High-dividend stocks tumble on profit taking

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 11): High-dividend stocks were top decliners across the exchange on speculation that foreign funds are reducing exposure to shares of recession-proof firms in the consumer and plantation sectors, according fund managers.

At 4.50pm today, Nestlé (M) Bhd fell 60 sen to RM64, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd lost 24 sen to RM60.66 while United Plantations Bhd was down 34 sen to RM24.86.

Phillip Capital Management Sdn Bhd wrote in a note it is unclear why foreign institutional investors have sold down these resilient stocks last month and that long-term investors will have to diversify their portfolios with growth stocks to safeguard returns.

"The craze for higher return from 'safe haven' investments amidst current global uncertainties have reduced the dividend yield and raised the price-to-earnings multiples (PER) of perceived stable stocks after their spectacular performance in the first 10 months of this year

"The recent profit taking on these stocks has broken the trend. The reduced dividend yield and increased PER have placed these "safe haven" stocks in the same league as growth stocks;" Phillip Capital said.

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