Malaysia’s EPF and UEM say no immediate plans to sell stakes in PLUS

14 September 2017   Category: News, Asia, Global, Malaysia   By Asia Asset Management

Malaysia's Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and UEM Group, an engineering-based infrastructure construction and services company, say they do not have immediate plans to sell their stakes in highway operator PLUS Malaysia (PLUS).

They were responding to a letter of intent to acquire the stakes received from privately-owned Maju Holdings.

Kuala Lumpur-headquartered UEM Group has a 51% stake in PLUS, while EPF holds the balance 49%.

“We are unable to comment further, as we are in the midst of reviewing the letter of intent and until we conclude the review process, our current stand remains that we have no intention of selling our respective stakes,” EPF and UEM Group say in a joint statement on September 12.

They declined to say how long the review would take, or the criteria that would be considered for any sale, when asked by Asia Asset Management.

In the statement, EPF – which also has shareholding in three other highways in Malaysia – points out that PLUS is one of its core investments that fits well with the fund’s risk profile, and will ultimately benefit its 14 million members.

UEM Group also says PLUS remains one of its core longstanding businesses.

PLUS was previously listed on the Malaysian stock exchange. UEM Group and EPF took the highway operator private in a 23 billion ringgit (US$5.47 billion) deal in 2011.

Maju Holdings is controlled by its founder and group executive chairman, local businessman Abu Sahid Mohamed.

The EPF is a federal statutory body under the purview of the Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance. It manages the compulsory savings plan and retirement planning for private sector employees in Malaysia. It currently has over 14.8 million members, of which, more than 6.88 million of them are actively contributing.

Based on the latest available data, EPF had over 731 billion ringgit in AUM as of December 31, 2016.