Ease way for investment, Singapore urged

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 28 Nov 2006

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has called for more reciprocity from Singapore in facilitating Malaysian acquisition of assets in the island republic. 

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the number and size of acquisitions by Singaporean interests, in particular by Singapore Government-controlled entities, had far outweighed Malaysians’ acquisitions of Singaporean companies. 

“However, we understand that identifying suitable acquisition in Singapore is far harder for Malaysian companies, given the structure of the Singapore economy,” he said in his keynote address Malaysia and Singapore: Responding to New Challenges at the London Business School Regional Conference themed Expanding in Asia: New Challenges and Opportunities

Najib said the close economic relations between the two countries had shifted a gear or two given the improved political relations, with increased investments across the Causeway, particularly in each other’s services sectors. 

He pointed out that Malaysian investment bank CIMB acquired GK Goh, a Singapore stock broking firm in 2005, while a joint venture between TM and Khazanah Holdings bought a 24% stake in MobileOne Ltd, Singapore’s third largest mobile operator. 

“The incoming traffic of investments from Singapore has been significantly greater,” he said, adding that Temasek had made inroads in Malaysia, acquiring a 5% stake in TM and 30% stake in Aliance Bank.  

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