Khazanah Nasional Bhd has increased its stake in CIMB Group Holdings Bhd by 1% to 29.9% in an open market purchase.
Sources indicated that the purchase on Thursday could be a prelude to a bigger objective by the sovereign wealth fund which viewed CIMB as a “core competitive asset” in its portfolio.
Khazanah made 13 investments amounting to RM5.8 billion last year but divested eight companies, a move which brought in proceeds of RM7.7bil.
Through this process, Khazanah had generated gains amounting to RM2 bilionl.
“The net gain of RM2 bilion will need to find its way into the market again, into new avenues of growth," said an observer. “This purchase of a stake in CIMB is part of Khazanah's strategy of seeking new sources of growth.”
“Khazanah has been net sellers of our portfolio in the past few years. We have been selling into strength. In the meantime, we are also buying into new growth engines,” said Khazanah managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar.
Khazanah aims for three of its companies to be transformed into regional champions - Axiata Group Bhd, CIMB and Integrated Healthcare Holdings which is about to be listed sometime this year.
“Khazanah will drive value creation and enhance crisis preparedness of its portfolio companies, in the context of the ongoing GLC transformation programme and regionalisation initiatives,” it said in a statement earlier this year.
“In addition, Khazanah will further conduct gradual and orderly divestment of non-core assets and non-core holdings, while continuing with strategic divestments of selected companies,” it added.
The most recent divestment for Khazanah was the sale of Proton Holdings Bhd to DRB-Hicom Bhd, from which it had recorded a “profitable modest amount of gain.”
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