Published: Tuesday April 30, 2013 MYT 3:36:00 PM

Ekuinas to invest RM600m this year

UALA LUMPUR: Ekuiti Nasional Bhd (Ekuinas), the government-linked equity fund management company, plans to invest another RM600mil locally this year to create transformative value for the group's portfolio.

Ekuinas Chief Executive Officer Abdul Rahman Ahmad said the group is aiming to invest RM600mil in targeted segments, ranging from education, oil and gas, services, healthcare, fast moving consumer goods alongside others.

"Over the past two years, we only invested about RM500mil. But this year we are very positive over the Malaysian economy and hope to invest RM600mil.

"This is subject to the availability of funds and attractive deal opportunities," he told reporters after the group's 2012 results announcement here on Tuesday.

Ekuinas is a commercially driven organisation with the primary objective of delivering financial value to its investments.

He said two committed investments had already been undertaken this year under the Ekuinas Tranche I Outsourced programme.

Ekuinas made an investment of RM22mil in Strateq Sdn Bhd, an IT services company and a RM27mil investment in HG Power Transmission Sdn Bhd, a provider of turnkey solutions for EHV transmission.

Abdul Rahman said by the third quarter of 2013, more investment details would be announced.

Ekuinas is also preparing for the listing of its portfolio companies of Icon Offshore Bhd and Ekuinas Education Group next year.

"We are undertaking the listing process at present, and further details will be announced later this year," he said.

Earlier, Ekuinas Chairman Raja Tan Sri Arshad Raja Tun Uda announced that the Group had continued its strong performance in the third financial year ended Dec 31, 2012.

He said the maiden Ekuinas Direct (Tranche I) Fund had recorded a total portfolio gain of RM368.6mil, which translates to a gross annualised Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 27.5 per cent and a net IRR of 20.6 per cent per annum.

"This, once again, exceeds Ekuinas' minimum target return of 12 per cent per annum and aspirational target of 20 per cent," he added.

Raja Arshad said the Group's 2012 performance showed strong positive continuity from its previous two showings, in meeting both the financial and social objectives set.

"The key driver to the strong performance was through creating transformative value at our portfolio companies.

"The Ekuinas strategy of investing in complementary companies within the same industry, with the specific aim of creating future Malaysian market leading entities, has started to bear significant results," he added.

Last year, Ekuinas successfully committed under its direct and outsourced programme, an additional six investments in high potential Malaysian companies amounting to RM583mil.

He said this brought the total committed investments undertaken by Ekuinas since inception to 15 portfolio companies at RM1.5bil, which together with co-investments by other investors, facilitated a total capital deployment of nearly RM2 billion that positively impacted the Malaysian economy.

In 2012 the group received RM700mil from the government and an additional RM600mil this year. - Bernama

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