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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

PNB confirms property merger being finalised

Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) has confirmed it is finalising a merger to create a large property group and says it may undertake an initial public offering when the stock market recovers.

Business Times had reported that PNB was combining Island & Peninsular Bhd, Pelangi Bhd and Petaling Garden Bhd under one roof to squeeze more profits from them.

The three firms were taken off the stock market by PNB a few years ago, allowing the merger to be done out of investors’ sights.

President and group chief executive Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman said the move by PNB to make its companies more efficient is an ongoing exercise.

“Not only these counters, but many counters also. We have to keep on looking at things so that we can improve from time to time,” he said at a briefing in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

As for raising money from an IPO of the merged entity, Hamad Kama Piah said: “It is possible … we have to make sure the right time and so on”.

Based on information from the Companies Commission of Malaysia, the merged entity would have a revenue of RM1.31 billion for 2007.

This means that it could rival SP Setia Bhd, Malaysia’s most valuable property developer, which made RM1.33 billion revenue in financial year 2008.

The property merger is due to be completed next month. It would probably be the second mega mer-ger under the PNB group of companies.

In 2007, the state-run fund manager completed the merger between Sime Darby Bhd, Golden Hope Plantations Bhd and Kumpulan Guthrie Bhd to create the world’s largest listed plantation group.

By Business Times (by Hamisah Hamid)

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