Kenanga Research downgraded Malaysian property stocks to 'neutral' from 'overweight' as the upcoming Budget 2013 may bring fresh measures to curb speculations in the property market.
An increase in real property gains tax is more likely than a hike in stamp duty and that either measure may prompt knee-jerk selling of property stocks, it said in a note on Thursday.
Kenanga downgraded its call on UEM Land Holdings to 'market perform' from 'outperform' and cut Hunza Properties to 'underperform' from 'market perform'.
It said the delay in property launches at UEM Land may dent market expectations of the developer's sales, while the lack of sizeable launches may hurt Hunza.
Kenanga's pick for the sector is UOA Development because of the company's strong net dividend yields and its ability to meet its dividend commitments.
At 1004 (0204 GMT), UEM Land was up 1.83 percent at 1.68 ringgit per share, Hunza was untraded at 1.48 ringgit per share and UOA Development was up 3.16 percent at 1.63 ringgit per share. Malaysia's benchmark composite index was up 0.35 percent at 1,619.45.
Reporting by Siva Sithraputhran in Kuala Lumpur; email@example.com