MCA: MAHB to be privatised? Five issues that deserve immediate, transparent answers

MCA has expressed concern over the announcement that trading in the securities of Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd whose share price rose to a high of RM10.44 on Monday (May 13) was suspended from 9am to 5pm on Wednesday pending a material announcement.

“Rumours have begun circulating that MAHB is going to be privatised. As is known, Khazanah Nasional Berhad holds 33.24% of MAHB while the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) holds 7.04%,” the party’s vice president Datuk Lawrence Low said in a statement on Thursday (May 16).

“Moving forward five serious questions arise that the government should answer immediately in a transparent and honest manner.

“First, why hasn’t the government, through the relevant ministry, clarified this matter transparently?

“Secondly, is there anything being hidden from the public’s knowledge? If MAHB is privatised, does it mean that all information related to it cannot be made public?”

Low further questioned if MAHB’s business is suffering losses, and if it is, what are the losses, and can the relevant statistics be made public according to the year.

“Fourthly, is this privatisation, if it does happen, due to the government’s coffers running dry due to the lack of economic revenue?” he questioned.

“Finally, does the privatisation – or as some call it, the selling off of national assets – confirm that the government is struggling to settle the national debt, which has increased drastically from RM686.8 bil in 2017 to RM1,231.5 bil now?”

Yesterday, NST’s Business Times reported that MAHB received a takeover offer from a four-member consortium led by Khazanah in a deal worth about RM12.3 bil.

Khazanah, along with EPF, New York-based Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) are jointly offering RM11.00 per share to buy all of the remaining shares in MAHB not already owned by them.

The Gateway Development Alliance consortium in a statement yesterday said upon completion of the offer, Khazanah’s stake in MAHB will increase to 40% from 33.2%, and EPF from 7.9% to 30%.

Collectively, Malaysian investors would own 70% of MAHB while GIP and ADIA will hold the remaining 30%.

According to the statement, the government will retain special share rights in MAHB and the chairman and chief executive officer will continue to be Malaysian citizens.

The consortium said the offer is aimed at driving long-term sustainable growth for MAHB, with a focus on enhancing passenger experience and increasing airline connectivity.

This in turn will provide lasting economic benefits, not only for MAHB and its stakeholders, but also for the industrial and tourism sectors in Malaysia and Türkiye.

As at May 14 this year, being the last practicable date prior to this announcement, the consortium and its parent companies in aggregate own 41.1% of MAHB’s issued share capital.

The consortium said it is committed to safeguarding the rights of MAHB’s existing employees, with no plans for layoffs. – May 16, 2024


Main pic credit: The Edge Malaysia

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