Khazanah shake-up as directors quit

26 Jul 2018 / 23:12 H.

    PETALING JAYA: The en bloc resignation of Khazanah Nasional Bhd's board of directors could have a major impact on the investment direction and strategy of the fund itself.
    "It probably will have some impact, maybe a major one, as Khazanah has been a major player in the stock market. We shall wait and see who are the people that are coming in. It depends on the new people to guide the philosophy and direction," Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Pong Teng Siew told SunBiz.
    The strategic investment fund confirmed today that all its directors, including managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, have offered to resign from the board after criticism by Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad over its role.
    It said in a statement that the resignation will facilitate a smooth and orderly transition under the new government.
    "The current board has been honoured to serve, and feel it appropriate to offer the new government the discretion and reaffirm the prerogative to form the new board. We will issue a further statement once we have further details of the reconstitution of the board."
    Besides Azman, other Khazanah directors are Tan Sri Md Nor Md Yusof, Tan Sri Mohamed Azman Yahya, Datuk Mohammed Azlan Hashim, Raja Tan Sri Arshad Raja Tun Uda, Tan Sri Andrew Sheng Len Tao, Datuk Seri Nazir Abdul Razak, Datuk Nirmala Menon and Yeo Kar Peng.
    JF Apex Securities head of research Lee Chung Cheng opined that the market is not overly concerned by the Khazanah shake-up, judging from the local bourse's movement, which held up steadily today.
    "From the market's performance, I don't think the market will react negatively to the news."
    At market close, the FBM KLCI was 2.45 points or 0.14% higher at 1,766.23 points on 3.03 billion shares done. The ringgit, however, weakened 0.05% to 4.0620 against US dollar today.
    Early this month, Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad took a swipe at Khazanah, saying the fund should go back to one of its core purposes of helping the bumiputras.
    Khazanah was incorporated on Sept 3, 1993 during the leadership of Mahathir to manage commercial assets owned by the federal government as well as design strategic investments that would contribute to nation building.
    It reported an 84.7% leap in profit before tax to RM2.89 billion in 2017 from RM1.57 billion in 2016. Some of its major holdings include CIMB Group Holdings, Telekom Malaysia, Axiata, IHH Healthcare and Tenaga Nasional.
    Last year, Khazanah undertook 14 new investments last year totalling RM6.3 billion as well as 12 divestments that gave RM6.4 billion in proceeds and gains on divestments of RM2.5 billion. It is embarking on a five-year Transformation 2.0 Programme to bring the investment fund to greater heights.

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