Najib: The 30% bumi equity remains, but is relaxed

By Wednesday November 12th, 2008 No Comments

KUALA LUMPUR: Companies seeking listing on Bursa Malaysia can now open their shares to the wider public should all efforts to get the 30% bumiputra equity participation fail.

Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that while the 30% bumiputra equity participation policy still remained, the shares could be offered to the general public through the IPO balloting process, should they not be fully subscribed.

“So there is a change in the way it (the policy) is being implemented.

“This is part and parcel of our efforts to make our capital markets more competitive,” he said after a briefing by the Securities Commission (SC) on Wednesday.

He explained that first, there were two tiers for bumiputras to acquire their 30% equity – through MITI (Ministry of International Trade and Industry)-approved bumiputra institutions, and then the general bumiputra public.

After which, it would be opened to the general public.

“In the event the allocation is not fully subscribed by the bumi public as well, then the company concerned would be deemed as having fulfilled the 30% bumiputra NDP (National Development Policy) requirement.

“So this takes out the element of uncertainty,” he said.

Najib said that currently seven companies were in limbo over listing, uncertain if their shares would be taken up.

“Now there is a conclusion that at the point of IPO, if not fully subscribed, they would be deemed as having complied with the requirements.

“So there’ll be no question of being in limbo on whether they have been listed,” he said.

SC chairman Datuk Seri Zarinah Anwar explained that these companies had difficulty attracting bumiputra subscribers as their share prices had fallen below the IPO prices.

“Of course it does not make sense for them to compel bumiputras to subscribe.

“Those who are interested in buying the shares, they can buy it cheaper from the market,” she said.

When asked if this would jeopardise the bumiputra equity in the long run, Najib replied: “I don’t think so.”

“Actually, this will allow bumi individuals to participate as well. It will not jeopardise their equity participation.”

He said that the bumiputras would have already had two chances at getting the 30% requirement first.

“If after the two cuts, it’s still not taken up, then it’s only fair for the companies to be listed,” he said.

In a press statement the SC added that the existing policy of not imposing any bumiputra equity conditions on foreign companies seeking listing would be maintained.

Source : The Star

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