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Thursday, 20 November, 1997, 17:53 GMT
Malaysian shares take a plunge
Share prices on the Malaysian stock exchange have suffered one of their biggest falls ever. The main index was down by 11% and stands at its lowest level for more than five years.

Over the past four days, it has fallen 20%. The latest fall was sparked by the news that the government was taking over the troubled Bakun hydro project in the east Malaysian state of Sarawak.

The project, costing $4.5bn, was abandoned by private sector developers in September. The move follows a controversial financial operation on Monday when a leading company, United Engineers, bought into Renong, a firm closely linked with the government which was in severe financial difficulties.

The move was alleged to have overlooked the interests of minority investors.

In another development, the deputy prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim, told a news conference in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, that the country's financial institutions were strong and that the public should not listen to rumours.

See also:

13 Nov 97 | Far East
Malaysia Doesn't Need IMF
13 Nov 97 | Far East
IMF chief in Malaysia
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