PETALING JAYA: Izad Sallehuddin has stepped down as the chief executive officer of Urusharta Jamaah Sdn Bhd (UJ).
Sources said that Izad, 39, tendered his resignation on Monday. He was appointed to the post in April last year.
UJ is a special purpose vehicle (SPV) set up by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) in late 2018 to take over the non-performing assets of Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH).
On Tuesday, TH Heavy Engineering Bhd (THHE) announced that Izad had stepped down as chairman of the company with immediate effect as he had ceased to be nominee director of UJ, which is the major shareholder of the THHE with a 29.8% stake.
Izad was appointed as chairman of the oil and gas service provider in September last year and had been working on a plan to revive THHE’s fortunes to lift it out of the PN17 status.
The reason for Izad’s departure is not known, but it comes at a time when several other government-linked companies have also seen a change in guard after Perikatan Nasional came to power.
Izad, a former head of equity dealing with Citigroup Global Markets Sdn Bhd, declined to comment when contacted.
UJ has been in the spotlight following its recent portfolio rebalancing exercise where it trimmed its stake in listed companies even when market conditions were weak in March as a result of Covid-19.
At the same time the SPV went on to acquire shares that were seen as having more upside during that equities selldown period. This includes investing in glove stocks, which have seen their share prices rise as much as nine to 10 times since mid-March this year.
In an interview with StarBiz in May, Izad said that the fund’s strategy of disposing of some of its investments and investing in stocks with upside amid the soft market conditions has boosted its portfolio, thanks to the quick recovery in the stock market.
UJ’s net asset value (NAV) at the end of the first quarter of 2020, which captured its trading activities, was higher in comparison to the NAV of the inherited portfolio as at the end of the same period last year.
The takeover of the TH’s non-performing assets by UJ in late 2018 was part of the rescue plan for the pilgrim fund, which was in urgent need to restore its balance sheet. UJ had forked out RM19.9bil for this, which was far above the book value of RM9.6bil.
UJ, which is under the MoF, was given a 10-year mandate to help create and grow as much value as it can from the battered-down assets it bought from TH.
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