KUALA LUMPUR: Shares on Bursa Malaysia surged to a new high yesterday as investors welcomed the pay increase announced by the Prime Minister for the nation's 1.6 million civil servants and pensioners as a big boost to the economy.
At the close, the benchmark Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) soared 20.34 points, or 1.5% to a record 1,367.51.
Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said yesterday the pay increase would add as much as half a percentage point to the country's economy and accelerate growth in the second half of this year.
Meanwhile, the ringgit continued to strengthen yesterday and hit 3.382 against the US dollar. The currency had risen 4.1% year-to-date.