PNB still awaiting SC nod for management deal with S P Setia

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 20): Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), the country's largest state asset manager, is still waiting for the Securities Commission's (SC) approval of its proposed management agreement, which will be part of PNB's takeover of S P Setia Bhd.

The proposed management agreement is between PNB, S P Setia Bhd and its chief executive and president Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, who holds a 10.86% stake.

"We have submitted it to the SC, we are now waiting for the SC's approval," PNB president and CEO Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman told reporters after he announced the income distribution for Skim Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB).

To recap, in September PNB launched a takeover bid on S P Setia after the asset manager's equity interest reached 33.16% or 590.5 million shares.

PNB offered RM3.90 a share, which was 40 sen or 11.4% higher than S P Setia's last traded price of RM3.50 at the time. PNB also offered to buy the remaining warrants at 91 sen a warrant, nearly double the market price before the offer.

When asked whether PNB is keen on buying into Proton Holdings Bhd, Hamad Kama Piah said, "UMW [Holdings Bhd] is a PNB company, they are involved in Toyota [distribution, marketing and assembly]," he said.

UMW Holdings is the largest shareholder of Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) with 38% equity interest.

UMW has denied the rumour it is keen to submit a bid to take over Khazanah Nasional Bhd's 42.7% stake in Proton.

PNB is currently the largest shareholder in UMW with a 46.6% shareholding.

PNB's wholly-owned subsidiary Amanah Saham Nasional Bhd (ASNB) announced an income distribution of 7.65 sen per unit and a bonus of 1.15 sen per unit for ASB for FY11 ended Dec 31, 2011.

The income distribution is 0.15 sen higher than the 7.5 sen a unit dividend paid out last year. The income distribution portion will involve a total payout of RM7.04 billion, an increase of 21% over the RM5.82 billion paid out last year. The bonus portion involves a total payout of RM628.29 million.

"The performance of ASB this year is satisfactory even though the stock market was greatly influenced by the uncertainties in the eurozone and faltering US economy, especially during the last quarter of this year," PNB chairman Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid said.

Ahmad Sarji said ASB recorded a gross income of RM7.19 billion up to Dec 15, 2011.

Dividend income from investee companies contributed RM4.09 billion or 56.9% of the gross income. Profit from the sale of shares made up RM2.25 billion or 31.3% with the rest derived from investments in short-term instruments and other investments.

On the Warisan Merdeka project, Hamad Kama Piah said PNB had submitted the design order to the city council and will make an announcement soon when approval is obtained.

Warisan Merdeka is a 100-storey tower, touted to be the country's tallest, initiated by PNB last year. It is estimated to cost between RM2.5 billion to RM3 billion and will have gross floor space of three million sq ft and 2.2 million sq ft of net lettable area, according to a recent news report.

PNB has set up the wholly-owned unit PNB Merdeka Ventures Sdn Bhd to undertake the project. Tengku Abdul Aziz Tengku Mahmud, from Guthrie Property Development Holding Bhd and Sime Darby Property Bhd, heads the company. He came on board early this year.

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