PUTRAJAYA, April 23 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak today reaffirmed his commitment to divest 10 government-linked entities to Bumiputera firms as part of efforts to grow the community’s participation in the economy, Bernama Online reported.
In February, the prime minister announced that Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) and Khazanah Nasional would each be asked to yield five non-core businesses to “worthy” Bumiputera owners.
After chairing today’s Bumiputera Agenda Action Council (Teraju) meeting, Najib said the names of the bidding firms will be revealed soon.
Najib also said the council has decided to increase by another 50 the number of Bumiputera core companies to be included for consideration, raising this to 130 in total.
“The meeting was also informed that several companies which were listed have now become parent companies in their respective fields,” Najib was quoted saying in the Bernama Online report.
Bumiputera equity stood at 22 per cent in February last year, short of the 30 per cent target set by the government.
The Najib administration’s Bumiputera economic agenda, led by Teraju, intends to create a visible pool of Bumiputera companies that can take on projects worth RM1.4 trillion and divestment of government assets under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).
The ETP, which aims to double per capita annual income by 2020, will see government and government-linked companies divest “non-core” assets.
Last year, Khazanah made a total of eight divestments which brought in proceeds of RM7.7 billion and helped to push the company’s profit before tax for the full year to RM5.3 billion from RM3 billion in 2010.
Key divestments included the sale of its 32 per cent stake in Pos Malaysia to DRB-Hicom Bhd for RM622.8 million and the complete privatisation of PLUS Bhd through a joint acquisition by UEM Group Bhd and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).
In January, Khazanah also announced the sale of its 42.7 per cent stake in national carmaker Proton Holdings Bhd to DRB-Hicom for RM1.3 billion.