PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak has questioned the government’s move to sell Khazanah Malaysia Bhd’s stakes in several “core holding companies” when the share market is not doing well.
The former premier was referring to a news report last week that at least six locally-listed companies — including CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, Axiata Group Bhd, UEM Sunrise Bhd and UEM Edgenta Bhd — could see a reduction in shareholding by the sovereign wealth fund.
This follows the fund’s partial divestment of a 16% stake in IHH Healthcare Bhd to Japan’s Mitsui and Co Ltd in November last year for RM6 per share unit in a deal valued at RM8.42 billion.
Najib noted that in December, Khazanah has also begun selling 63 million units of CIMB shares to unnamed buyers at RM364 million, or RM5.78 per unit.
He however pointed out that prior to the 14th General Election, CIMB shares were priced at RM7.30 per unit.
“If the 63 million units were sold at that time when it was priced at RM7.30, we could have couped RM460 million. But Pakatan Harapan (PH) sold them in December at a much lower price, and only got RM364 million, a difference of RM86 million.
“If you want to sell, at least sell them when the stock prices are high. Why are you so desperate to sell them when Bursa Malaysia is not doing well and stocks prices are low, to a point Khazanah has to lose?” he posted on his Facebook account today.
Najib also noted that the companies that might see a reduction in Khazanah’s shares, which were previously classified as national strategic companies, were now regarded as commercial assets ready to be sold.