Khazanah to explain sale of stake to Syed Mokhtar, says Azmin

(FMT) – Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said Khazanah Nasional Bhd will explain the disposal of its entire interest in Saudi Arabian water and power companies to Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary’s Malakoff Corp Bhd.

“I think Khazanah will explain why it needs to relook into its core activities,” Azmin, a Khazanah board member, said.

He said the national sovereign wealth fund had made huge profits in its investments but needed to focus now on the domestic front.

“Khazanah has a role to play in boosting domestic investment to assist Malaysian economic players,” he told reporters after launching the Graduan Aspire Career Fair 2019 at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre today.

The US$70 million deal will see Malakoff purchase Khazanah’s entire stake in Desaru Investments (Cayman Islands) Ltd (DIL).

In turn, Malakoff doubles its stake in Malaysian Shoaiba Consortium Sdn Bhd – which invests in several Saudi Arabian power and water companies – from 40% to 80%.

Before the divestment, Khazanah held 40% interest in Malaysian Shoaiba Consortium through DIL. Malakoff, via Malakoff Gulf, also owned 40% in the consortium, while Tenaga Nasional Bhd held the remaining 20%.

In a statement, Malakoff said the deal will contribute greater revenue to the company and boost its cash flow.

However, former prime minister Najib Razak criticised the deal, saying although the Saudi companies had been profitable every year, they had nonetheless been sold off by the government.

“Previously, we (the BN government) worked hard to build the nation’s assets but we were accused of selling the country.

“Pakatan Harapan continues to sell the country’s assets every day since they won GE14, but this is what the people want,” he wrote on his Facebook page.