Malaysia

Malaysian businessmen, politicians park money in Singapore

February 05, 2013

This is part of a trend observers are expecting to continue this year, the Singaporean daily said. – Reuters picThis is part of a trend observers are expecting to continue this year, the Singaporean daily said. – Reuters picKUALA LUMPUR, Feb 5 – Former minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim is just part of a growing number of Malaysian political and corporate figures to put their money on Singaporean penny stocks, the republic’s Straits Times newspaper reported today.

The 62-year-old with a chequered political past joins media tycoon Datuk Tong Kooi Ong and Datuk Wira Dani Daim, son of former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, in buying up the controlling stake in budding Singapore listed companies.

This is part of a trend observers are expecting to continue this year, the Singapore daily said “given the uncertainty of the election outcome, which has caused jitters in the business circles there”.

Zaid had last month bought up 350 million new shares in Singapore-based Ipco International for S$6.9 million (RM17.15 million), which gives him a seven per cent stake in the listed company with a finger in a large number of pies worldwide ranging from construction and infrastructure to the energy sector.

“The company is already working on the business and I have some time to contribute to what it has in China,” the former de facto law minister told ST, adding that Singapore was the best place to do business.

The founder of the country’s leading law firm told the paper he was drawn to invest in Ipco, which has rights to produce and supply oil and natural gas production rights in China.

“I’ve got to start somewhere and Ipco is Singapore-based, which is why I like it. There’s better exposure and more liquidity,” Zaid was reported saying.

The Singapore daily reported Tong, well-known former stockbrocker, ex-banker, investment analyst and currently the executive chairman of The Edge Media Group — which publishes business papers here as well as in Singapore — had last year emerged as a the single largest shareholder in paper products firm UPP Holdings.

Wira Dani, was also reported to have parked his investments in the island republic, putting in S$4 million for a 17.8 per cent stake in Asiasons WFG Financial last March. The corporate finance and investment firm was renamed ISR Capital last December.

The daily reported punters to be chasing after shares in these penny-stock firms believing their businesses will grow.