The Malaysian government is embarking on a rationalization of its GLCs (government-linked companies), and has identified 33 it plans to sell off, list, or partly-sell. At least 21 of those firms will see complete privatization by the end of 2012, as the government continues to review its role in Malaysian business.

The government said it doesn’t want a ‘fire sale’ of its companies and will ensure it receives ‘maximum value’ with each sale. It has not revealed exactly which companies it plans to divest, nor is it announcing how much it plans to earn from the rationalization. It has also identified four major areas which will still require government involvement in future: areas of business involving national security (including rice production); those with long gestation periods (like nanotechnology); vital infrastructure and transport projects; and those designed to increase Malaysia’s Gross National Income (such as the economic corridor developments).

According to The Star, the Malaysian government controls such major companies as Petronas, Felda, KTMB and state-level companies, while listed ones include Affin Holdings Bhd, Axiata Group Bhd, BIMB Holdings Bhd,Chemical Co of Malaysia Bhd, Malaysia Airline System Bhd, Malayan Banking Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, the UEM Group, TH Plantations Bhd and Sime Darby Bhd. The government also operates major investment companies like Kumpulan Wang Simpanan Pekerja (EPF), Khazanah Nasional Bhd,Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH), Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP) and Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT).

The plan is another Strategic Reform Initiative under the government’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP). Industry representatives were generally positive on the announcement, saying it would increase liquidity and attract larger investors to Malaysia.

source & article: The Star Business