Khazanah, EPF to expand investments in the US

The Malaysia Airlines Negaraku livery of its Boeing 737-800 aircraft which was unveiled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during the Malaysia Aviation Group Hari Raya gathering at Malaysia Airlines Engineering Complex in Sepang on Monday. MOHD SAHAR MISNI/The Star

WASHINGTON: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Khazanah Nasional Bhd plan to expand their investments in the United States and purchase more Boeing jets to help strengthen the country’s economy, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced on Tuesday.

The EPF alone is expected to invest between US$3bil and US$4bil.

“I want to say that we come here with a strong value proposition to put on the table. We want to help you in strengthening the US economy,” Najib said at the delegation meeting with US President Donald Trump.

Najib, who is also the Finance Minister, said the Malaysian delegation had three specific proposals.

Firstly, he said, Malaysia intended to increase the number of Boeing planes to be purchased by Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB). “We are committed to 25 planes of 737-MAX 10, eight 787 Dreamliners and there is strong probability, not possibility, that we will add 24 (or) 25 more 737-MAX 10 in the near future.”

So, within five years, with the additional purchase, the deal will be worth beyond US$10bil, he said.

The 737 MAX 10 will be the airline’s most profitable single-aisle airplane, offering the lowest seat costs ever, while the 787 Dreamliner is a long-haul, mid-size widebody, twin-engine jet airliner.

The discussion with Trump was the highlight of Najib’s Sept 11-13 working visit to the US at the invitation of the 45th US president who took office on Jan 20 this year.

Najib said the Government would also try to persuade low-cost carrier, AirAsia Bhd to purchase US-made General Electric engines.

“Secondly, we have EPF, which is major pension fund in Malaysia. They have got big sum of capital to be exported, they have invested close to US$7bil in terms of equity in the US and they intend to invest an additional US$3bil to US$4bil to support your infrastructure re-development.”

The Prime Minister also said that Khazanah Nasional, which has an office in the Silicon Valley, California and had invested about US$400mil in high technology companies, also intended to increase its investment. - Bernama

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