KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 7): Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said today Khazanah Nasional Bhd is identifying assets for sale as Malaysia's sovereign wealth fund aims to reduce its debt to between RM35 billion and RM40 billion as soon as possible.
Mohamed Azmin, who is also a board member of Khazanah, said the fund's asset sale is not something unusual. He said Khazanah needs to make strategic considerations based on market condition to create value for its assets.
"We are (hoping) to manage our debt level to RM35 billion to RM40 billion as soon as possible. We are now identifying those assets [to be disposed of].
"The money that we generate from the sales of assets will then be reinvested into other assets, and we want to make sure that it gives a better return and profit to Khazanah and subsequently will be able to give dividends to the government," Mohamed Azmin told reporters on the sidelines of the Khazanah Megatrends Forum 2019 here today.
He said that for the last 10 years, Khazanah has been selling more than 100 assets worth about RM65 billion.
On Friday (Oct 4), Bernama, citing Khazanah managing director Datuk Shahril Ridza Redzuan in an interview with RTM, reported that Khazanah managed to reduce its debt burden from RM55 billion to RM47 billion in one year through asset and investment sales.
"Although the value of our assets is still at RM130 billion, our debt has dropped by RM10 billion, so in terms of our net assets or our net balance sheet, it has been stronger," Shahril said.
Today, at the Khazanah Megatrends Forum 2019, following Azmin's comments, Shahril said to reporters: "We plan to reduce (Khazanah's debt) to RM35 billion within the next three to five years."
Azmin, who is also a board member of Khazanah, said the fund's asset sale is not something unusual. He said Khazanah needs to make strategic considerations based on market condition to create value for its assets.