Friday, February 10, 2012

Khazanah, PNB to divest 10 companies (PIC)

PUTRAJAYA (Feb 10, 2012): Khazanah Nasional Bhd and Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) will divest a total of 10 companies that are not part of their core businesses.

The divestment will be carried out via an open tender process.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Khazanah and PNB will each divest five companies to increase bumiputra equity participation.

"This will be done through a process of open tender where (other) potential bumiputra companies will be invited (to take part) and the best company which has the capability will be chosen to own these companies.

"This is done to increase the bumiputra equity," Najib told a press conference after chairing the Bumiputra Agenda Action Council (MTAB) meeting at his office yesterday.

Khazanah, which posted a pre-tax profit of RM5.3 billion for the year ended Dec 31, 2011, made a total of eight divestments last year that raised proceeds of RM7.7 billion, generating gains of RM2 billion.

Its total investment portfolio declined marginally with the overall realisable asset value decreasing by RM4.5 billion to RM108.1 billion as at end-2011 and net worth adjusted declined RM5.2 billion to RM70 billion from RM75.2 billion as at Dec 31, 2010.

Khazanah's investment portfolio posted moderate growth in 2011 except for Tenaga Nasional Bhd, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, and the aviation business which were impacted by regulatory and industry issues.

Najib also announced that MTAB has decided to bring 50 more companies under High Performing Bumiputera Small-Medium Enterprises (Teras), raising the number of companies in the programme to 80.

"The total revenue of these companies will be RM5 billion," he said.

Najib, however, said it is not necessary to award government contracts to these companies and the focus will be more on developing their management, technical and financial capabilities.

"It is also to help these companies grow in terms of innovation processes as well as improvisation of business plans which will be under Teraju," he said.

Najib added that MTAB also decided that SME Corporation will form a partnership with Teraju to develop these companies, which are mostly micro-enterprises.

"About 86% of these companies are micro-enterprises but if they are helped in terms of packaging and other (means), their turnover can be increased to a higher level," said Najib, who is also Finance Minister.

He also said bumiputra companies are invited to use e-government facilities or application to market their products overseas.

Meanwhile, the prime minister also announced the appointment of Raja Azura Raja Mahayuddin as CEO of Yayasan Peneraju Pendidikan Bumiputra, effective Feb 14.

The foundation was launched last year with a commitment of RM158 million from the private sector to help bumiputra students to upgrade themselves.

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