Saturday, May 26, 2007

Privatisation Move: China's Bursting, Loss of Confidence with the Malaysian Economy & Temasek

There has been talk that the various privatisation moves by publicly owned companies is a prelude to sharp sell of in the Market due to the impending burst of China's economy and the stock exchange.

It is also possible that privatisation moves show that these companies no longer have confidence in the Malaysian economy and the would rather list their shares overseas.

However, there is another talk in town that such move is a prelude to a takeover by the Singapore's investment arm Temasek, especially Maxis'.

We cannot verify if this is indeed what is happenning, however it might be plausible given the history of Temasek and its efforts to gain strategic control of the region.

It is known that Temasek did purchase Thailand's communication company Shin Corp but with dreadful repercussions due to Thailand's very nationalistic stance against foreign domination. Temasek has learnt its lessons well and a similar move would cause similar reactions in Malaysia. The only way that it might be done is taking the entity private (to reduce antagonism from the public) and buy up a significant share of the private company using nominees to hide its name.

In Thailand, subsequent investigations revealed that " Thai nominees owned 24.1% of all shares on the Thai stock exchange, and up to 36% of all shares in the technology sector." (wikipedia) In Malaysia, we do not know how much nominees own publicly listed companies and what percentage of this represents foreign interests. However, if this scenario is representative of the situation in Malaysia, we ought to be gravely concerned, and perhaps instruct similar investigations of Malaysia's public listed companies.

Slowly, our companies are bought over by foreigners and they hold all the strings. In the end, we work to enrich foreigners and our fate is in the hands of others.

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