Khazanah Said to Mull Selling $897 Million of Listed Stocks

  • Sovereign fund weighs sale of 2% each in Tenaga, IHH, Axiata
  • Khazanah Nasional seeks pitches from investment banks

Malaysian sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd. is considering paring its stakes in three listed companies, in deals that could raise as much as 3.6 billion ringgit ($897 million), according to people familiar with the matter.

The state-owned investor asked banks to pitch for a role arranging the sale of about 2 percent each in Tenaga Nasional Bhd., IHH Healthcare Bhd. and Axiata Group Bhd., according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. Khazanah, which is the largest shareholder in the three Malaysian companies, may decide to sell stock in one or all of the firms, one of the people said.

The sovereign fund has been trimming its stakes in listed Malaysian companies as part of a government directive to boost liquidity on the local bourse. It sold $448 million of Tenaga shares in January last year and raised $144 million paring its stake in container terminal operator Westports Holdings Bhd. in 2014, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Tenaga shares declined 1.3 percent to 13.94 ringgit, the lowest since April, at the close in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday. The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index rose 0.2 percent. Axiata fell 0.7 percent to 5.36 ringgit, the lowest in nearly four years, while IHH dropped 0.5 percent on the local bourse.

“Usually when there is such news, there would be short-term pressure on the share prices because the disposal would be done at a discount,” Ang Kok Heng, the chief investment officer of Phillip Capital Management Sdn., which manages $428 million, said by phone Tuesday from Kuala Lumpur. “Some people may also take the opportunity to lock in profit and buy back later on.”

Khazanah holds a 29.7 percent stake in Tenaga, which is Malaysia’s biggest listed power producer with a market value of 78.7 billion ringgit, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Kuala Lumpur-based fund owns 43 percent of IHH, Asia’s largest hospital operator, and 38.2 percent of Axiata, the nation’s biggest wireless operator by revenue, the data show.

Khazanah had a net asset value of 109 billion ringgit at the end of December, compared with 110.7 billion ringgit at the end of 2014, according to statements from the fund. A representative for Khazanah declined to comment.

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