PNB has yet to find suitable suitors for asset sale

KANGAR: Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) has yet to find  the right suitors for its proposed divestment of four non-core assets over the next three months, said president/group chief executive Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman.

“We have some buyers who are interested in the assets but the price offered by them does not meet our target,” he told the media on the sidelines of the Malaysia Unit Trust Week (MSAM) on Tuesday.

He said the company needs to ensure competitive returns and a committee has been set up to look into the matter.
Among the non-core assets is a company under UMW Holdings Bhd named U-Insurance Sdn Bhd.

The divestment programme is part of a plan by the bumiputera agenda coordinating unit, a unit under the prime minister’s department, to spearhead the economic transformation of bumiputeras in the country by growing and enhancing entrepreneurship among them.

Meanwhile, PNB which has invested in 200 companies — including large, strategic and profitable enterprises — is also looking at expanding its market globally.

“As you know, we just bought a building in Australia. We will continue to look for other new buildings that can benefit us and our investors,” Hamad Kama Piah said.

“PNB will not simply purchase any assets without identifying the risks.

“The challenge for PNB is to diversify its portfolio, as the size of investment under our management is now RM239 billion. Definitely, we have to ensure the (good) return on these investments, give the right dividend yield,” he added.

Last year PNB, one of Malaysia’s leading asset managers, spent RM4.9 billion to buy properties in Australia and London. — Bernama


This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on April 25, 2013.

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