KUALA LUMPUR: Nonsensical and purely politically motivated — that’s how Member of Parliament for Setiawangsa Datuk Fauzi Zahari described the call by PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli for Malaysian institutional investors to boycott the impending initial public offering (IPO) by Edra Power Holdings Sdn Bhd.
In doing so, Fauzi joined a chorus of strong criticisms against Rafizi , with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Rahman Dahlan calling it akin to an economic sabotage.
Second Finance Minister Datuk Johari Ghani has also taken Rafizi to task and said the government-linked companies and investment firms are free to conduct their own due diligence and decide whether to invest in the proposed IPO expected by this year.
“Rafizi’s boycott call is baseless in financial terms and without any regard for the nation’s interest but purely made for political reasons,” Fauzi told Bernama.
He said Edra, Malaysia’s second largest independent power producer, was no small fry in the energy business as it has international presence with power plants in Bangladesh and Egypt as well.
Edra thus sits within five regional economic belts comprising some 65 countries with a combined total trade of US$21 billion (US$1 = RM4.29).
Fauzi said China General Nuclear (CGN), which owns 100 per cent of Edra and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange recorded a revenue of 25 billion Renminbi, or US$4-5 billlion, in 2015 with a net profit of US$1.2 billion.
“The Edra IPO should be seen as a huge opportunity for Malaysians and Malaysian institutional investors to invest in a venture that has brought consistently good earnings given its global footprints,” he added.
He said with CGN’s track record, Edra could actually decide to go for an IPO in Singapore, Hong Kong or elsewhere and instead chose Malaysia which also meant a massive vote of confidence in the country.
“What is more important is not what an individual politician says about the IPO but what investors think after going through their own due diligence.
“Institutional investors like Khazanah Nasional Bhd and Employees Provident Fund (EPF) have been giving good returns to investors. For example, EPF with five-six per cent returns on investment, has the expertise to evaluate in deciding to support any IPO,” Fauzi said.
The MP recalled that when EPF decided to acquire highway concessionaire PLUS Malaysia Bhd at RM23 billion there was a public outcry but the deal had since netted consistently good returns for some 30 years now.
“Malaysia is but a small country. We need to enter the big stage or else we will be left behind. CGN, for instance, can also go to other countries. Now countries that we once regarded as insignificant economically, like Vietnam and even Laos, are surging ahead.
“So let us not be clouded by this political haze just because some politicians dislike one company and others are also dragged into hating it as well and at the end of the day, the country and the people will stand to lose,” said Fauzi. – Bernama