Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional chief said the sovereign wealth fund is on the lookout for investment opportunities in Southeast Asia and India but acknowledged that currency weakness will make investing a challenge as it becomes more expensive to buy foreign assets.
The Malaysian ringgit fell to a record low 4.57 against the US dollar on September 22. The currency has lost 9% of its value against the greenback thus far this year.
Speaking at a leadership webinar on September 21, Khazanah Managing Director Amirul Feisal Wan Zahir said that “it is not easy to invest this year due to the weaker ringgit”.
He said the wealth fund is looking for the “right time to invest and is seeking opportunities to leverage its global presence and networks”.
“It is just a question of timing, and when and where we actually look at the market… [For now], we are looking at Southeast Asia and India first,” he said.
According to Amirul Feisal, the US and Europe are not strategic investment destinations for Khazanah for the time being because of their high inflation rates. Neither is China because of the regular lockdowns in pursuit of a zero-Covid policy.
The wealth fund’s 2021 annual report shows that 63.5% of its assets is invested in Malaysia and 36.5% overseas, with nearly 15% in China, 12% in Asia excluding China, 2.8% in Europe, Middle East and Africa, and 7% in North America.
Khazanah had a net realisable asset value of 124.8 billion ringgit (US$28.91 billion) at the end of 2021.