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BlackRock investments in Malaysia reach RM27.5bil, withdrawal will have negative implications

KUALA LUMPUR: The withdrawal of BlackRock’s investment from Malaysia, if it happens, will have implications and negative impacts on efforts to realise the country’s investment agenda, said Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz, Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry

BlackRock is a shareholder in various listed companies worldwide, including sovereign funds from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, and Indonesia.

According to him, BlackRock, which is the largest asset manager in the world with assets under management worth US$10.5 trillion as at March 31, 2024, also holds equity investments in 100 public-listed companies in Malaysia as of May this year.

“This includes the industrial sector, with the three largest entities being banking institutions in the country. Overall, BlackRock owns assets worth approximately RM27.5 billion in Malaysia,” he said during the Minister’s Question Time in the Dewan Rakyat, today.

Tengku Zafrul said this in reply to a question from Lim Guan Eng (PH-Bagan) regarding the investment details by BlackRock in Malaysia and the impact on the economy if all of BlackRock’s investments over the past decades were divested.

He said of that amount, RM20.5 billion of BlackRock’s investment was in the Bursa Malaysia stock market and around RM7 billion in government and corporate bonds in the country.

Among BlackRock’s investments in the government-issued bond market include Malaysia Sukuk Global Bhd; Export-Import Bank of Malaysia Bhd; Malaysia Wakala Sukuk Bhd; Petroliam Nasional Bhd; and Malaysia Sovereign Sukuk Bhd.

BlackRock is also a shareholder of several large multinational companies operating in Malaysia including Microsoft, Boeing, Intel, and Texas Instruments.

“Companies such as Microsoft, Boeing, Intel, and Texas Instruments that have shares owned by BlackRock contribute to the development of the industry and the states through investment projects carried out in Malaysia.

This includes Intel, which contributes to the growth of the semiconductor sub-sector in Penang; Infineon in Melaka and Kedah; Texas Instruments in the electrical and electronics industry in Melaka and Kuala Lumpur (KL); and Boeing’s subsidiary, Aerospace Composites Malaysia Sdn Bhd, in the aerospace industry in Kedah.

Microsoft also recently announced an investment that will contribute to the development of data centre infrastructure at a new location to be determined later.

“Overall, the companies that I mentioned just now represent foreign investments that have made significant investments in Malaysia, as well as create job opportunities, particularly in the high-tech and high-value sectors targeted by the country,” he explained.

Elaborating further on these investments, Tengku Zafrul said Intel has invested RM32 billion and employs more than 10,000 workers, while Texas Instruments has invested RM13 billion and employs more than 2,000 workers in Malaysia.

Boeing, through its subsidiary, Aerospace Composites Malaysia, has invested RM300 million and employs 900 workers, while ROHM Electronics (Malaysia) in Kelantan has invested RM3 billion and employs more than 2,000 workers.

“Infineon, which has operations in Kedah and Melaka, has announced an additional investment commitment of RM25 billion, and to date employs more than 13,000 Malaysians.

“At present, Microsoft employs over 200 workers in Selangor, Penang, and KL. On May 2, 2024, the company announced an additional investment commitment of RM10.5 billion,” he said.

In terms of trade, Intel has contributed RM50 billion in export value for semiconductor components; Texas Instruments contributed RM20 billion in electronics components export value; and Microsoft has contributed RM15 billion in export value for information technology services.

According to Tengku Zafrul, Malaysia does not practice any policies that prohibit investments from global companies like BlackRock and their involvement in public-listed companies on the stock market.

“We do not have any involvement or policies that prevent them at this time,” he said.

Regarding the sale of shares in Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, the minister said that this has already been addressed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim this week.

“Regarding the Cabinet, perhaps I can provide some clarification in terms of governance. The decision was indeed made at the Khazanah Nasional Bhd level, so as a member of the Cabinet, I was only informed during the Cabinet meeting by the Prime Minister, and at that time, the decision had been made,” he said. – Bernama

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