Thursday, July 2, 2009

Govt does away with 30% bumi equity requirement

KUALA LUMPUR: The 30% bumiputra quota requirement for companies seeking to list on the Bursa Malaysia has been done away with under an overhaul of the Government’s economic policies.

In his most important announcement since taking office on April 3, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said there was a need for a new economic model.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announcing the need for a new economic model at the Invest Malaysia 2009 conference at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur Tuesday. — NORAFIFI EHSAN / The Star

He said the Foreign Investment Committee (FIC) would effectively “no longer exist” as it had failed to achieve its objectives.

Saying that the emphasis now was on participation instead of equity, Najib also announced the setting up of Ekutinas (Ekuiti Nasional Bhd), a private equity fund to make strategic investments for bumiputras, especially in companies with high-growth potential.

The other announcements, which are to take effect immediately, were:

* All property transactions, except for those involving a dilution of government or bumiputra interests for property valued at RM20mil and above, would no longer require FIC approval;

* All Malaysian companies seeking listing would have to offer 50% of their public offering to bumiputra investors, which would work out to 12.5% of the total stake;

* A 100% ownership would be allowed for qualified and leading fund management companies to set up operations in Malaysia;

* Foreign equity in existing stockbroking companies would be increased to 70% from 49%;

* All transactions on mergers and takeovers by local or foreign companies will no longer need FIC approval; and

* All listed companies need not maintain 30% bumiputra equity as required previously.

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