EPF: NO PLAN TO SELL STAKE TO MAJU

High­way con­ces­sion­aire has been yield­ing good re­turns, says re­tire­ment fund

New Straits Times - - Business - AYISY YU­SOF BANGI bt@me­di­aprima.com.my

MAJU Hold­ings ex­ec­u­tive chair­man Tan Sri Abu Sahid Mohamad’s “op­ti­mism” of tak­ing over PLUS Malaysia Bhd, the coun­try’s largest high­way con­ces­sion­aire, has re­ceived a ma­jor blow.

The Em­ploy­ees Prov­i­dent Fund (EPF) yes­ter­day said it had no in­ten­tion of sell­ing its 49 per cent stake in PLUS and that it had not re­ceived any of­fers from Maju Hold­ings.

EPF chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said there was only some un­sub­stan­ti­ated me­dia re­ports that sev­eral par­ties were keen to buy PLUS.

“But, to date, we have not re­ceived any kind of of­fers or in­ter­ests from any­one,” he said af­ter the sign­ing cer­e­mony be­tween EPF and the In­ter­na­tional Train­ing Cen­tre-In­ter­na­tional Labour Or­gan­i­sa­tion (ITC-ILO), here, yes­ter­day.

Abu Sahid re­port­edly said he was con­fi­dent of pulling off a deal to buy PLUS stakes from UEM Group Bhd and EPF, a deal that could cost RM30 bil­lion or more, as he had “ev­ery­thing ready”.

He was also quoted to have re­ceived bless­ings at the high­est level over his move and that he had al­ready made over­tures to meet Khaz­anah Na­sional Bhd man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Tan Sri Az­man Mokhtar to discuss the pos­si­ble ac­qui­si­tion.

Khaz­anah’s wholly-owned UEM Group holds the re­main­ing 51 per cent of PLUS.

Shahril said PLUS has been yield­ing good re­turns for the pen­sion fund.

“PLUS has been per­form­ing well as an in­vest­ment. Cer­tainly from our point of view, PLUS has con­tin­u­ously de­liv­ered fan­tas­tic ser­vice to all users and it has been a big in­vest­ment by us and Khaz­anah’s share­hold­ers into ex­pand­ing the net­work, es­pe­cially the high­way in the Klang Val­ley,” he said.

Shahril said at this point in time, “there is no par­tic­u­lar rea­son why we want to think about dis­pos­ing it”.

Mean­while, EPF’s part­ner­ship with ITC-ILO will pave the way for the joint de­vel­op­ment and im­ple­men­ta­tion of fu­ture train­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in Malaysia and other South­east Asian coun­tries.

EPF chair­man Tan Sri Sam­sudin Os­man said EPF will be pro­vid­ing world-class learn­ing in­fra­struc­ture via the EPF Learn­ing Cam­pus (ELC).

“The part­ner­ship, which would al­low us to tap into the reser­voir of global ex­per­tise, is only the first of many more ini­tia­tives to come in fur­ther­ing EPF’s agenda in ad­dress­ing the needs of an ag­ing so­ci­ety as well as the so­cial se­cu­rity chal­lenges,” he said.

ITC-ILO se­nior pro­gramme of­fi­cer of so­cial pro­tec­tion, gov­er­nance and tri­par­tism, Charles Cre­vier said Malaysia has been mak­ing great strides in ad­vanc­ing the so­cial pro­tec­tion agenda, while EPF has been con­sis­tent in ad­vo­cat­ing for a more com­pre­hen­sive so­cial se­cu­rity sys­tem.

PIC BY AIZUDDIN SAAD

(From left) Em­ploy­ees Prov­i­dent Fund deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer (strat­egy divi­sion) Tunku Al­iza­kri Raja Muham­mad Alias, board mem­ber Zainal Abidin Kas­sim, EPF CEO Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan, EPF chair­man Tan Sri Sam­sudin bin Os­man, ITC-ILO so­cial pro­tec­tion, gov­er­nance and tri­par­tism se­nior pro­gramme of­fi­cer Charles Cre­vier and ITC-ILO se­nior tech­ni­cal ex­pert Nuno Meira Si­moes da Cunha at the sign­ing cer­e­mony in Bangi, Se­lan­gor, yes­ter­day.

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