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Tuesday April 2, 2013

PNB to identify suitors for remaining 4 non-core assets it plans to divest

By INTAN FARHANA ZAINUL
intanzainul@thestar.com.my


<B>Hamad:</B> ‘So far, only one company has been popular.’ Hamad: ‘So far, only one company has been popular.’

KUALA LUMPUR: Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) will identify suitors within three months for the remaining four non-core assets that it plans to divest, said president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman.

Last year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak asked Khazanah Nasional Bhd and PNB to divest their non-core businesses with the potential of them being managed by qualified bumiputra companies.

“So far, only one company (out of five) has been popular (among bidders),” Hamad said after launching Minggu Saham Amanah Malaysia (MSAM).

He said that on average, PNB sold about 16 billion to 20 billion units per year.

There were 11.36 million account holders up to February 2013, with bumiputra holders accounting for 89% or 163.9 billion units.

Hamad said the MSAM targeted to educate the public on smart investment and financial management.

He noted that the event for this year, which was the 14th special edition, would be held in Perlis and marked the group's accomplishment in completing its programmer to organise the event nationwide. The group also has previously organised the MSAM event in Klang Valley twice.

Malayan Banking Bhd, Sime Darby Bhd, I&P Group Sdn Bhd, UMW Holdings Bhd, Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd, Takaful Ikhlas, Malaysia Industrial Development Finance Bhd, MNRB Holdings Bhd, NCB Holdings, Project Lintasan Kota Holdings Sdn Bhd and Chemical Co of Malaysia Bhd are partners for the event.

The event provides various investment-related activities and free talks on financial planning for visitors and is expected to attract at about 150,000 visitors this year.

Asked on the group's interest to further increase its overseas investments, Hamad said PNB was always looking for opportunities to increase its portfolio abroad.

“We believe that we always need to diversity our portfolio and overseas investment is definitely something we would look into.

“When we make any investment, we want to ensure there is a balance between risk and return in order to achieve our objective,” he said.

On the uncertainty looming over the stock market and how it would affect the group's investments, Hamad said “it is about positioning”.

“We are a long-term player. When the market is down, it could be an open opportunity for us to invest more,” he said.

On the proposed Menara Warisan Merdeka, Hamad said: “It is an ongoing process, we are trying to comply the rules set by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall.”

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