Khazanah must bide its time for asset sales

P Gunasegaram

Modified 1 Oct 2019, 12:07 am

QUESTION TIME | Soon after the Pakatan Harapan government took over in May 2018, 16 months ago, an unlikely target that resurrected Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad trained his guns on was Khazanah Nasional Bhd, the national sovereign wealth fund.

That was rather puzzling because Khazanah was one of the better performing funds owned by the government. It had done very well in terms of increasing the wealth of its commercial holdings for the country under managing director Azman Mokhtar, and supported by a core of professionals and a decent board.

In fact, so well had it done that Khazanah became the secretariat for the transformation of government-linked investment companies (GLICs) and government-linked companies (GLCs) which were not under its stable, such as Permodalan Nasional Bhd and its extensive list of investments worth over RM280 billion.

Khazanah’s own holdings had risen to give a net realisable value of RM136 billion as at the end of 2018, against RM68 billion at the end of 2008.

Mahathir, however, was for some reason unhappy with all that...

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