Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Why floating Petronas is not a bad idea

As a Malaysian, while I do not like to see our nation's asset to be sold, the idea of floating Petronas perhaps should be different. Floating it does not mean we are selling the entire stake but perhaps 25% like what is being proposed by some personalities recently.

Why is it good for the country?

  1. Although Petronas is a national asset, I for one do not have a clue of its value and in the name of transparency, despite being someone who follows Malaysian economy closely as well as track our country's controlled companies, this is one asset which I have very little knowledge. Those things are such as, where are the asset listing, reserves, liabilities. I know that it can be found here and there but not in one consolidated report. Floating Petronas will allow every Malaysian public that access.
  2. Malaysia will be at the forefront of being transparent. One of the biggest hope in this new government is the act of being transparent. Petronas is the largest asset (company) of the country by far. We will be showing the way to attract investors in this manner. It will also enhance Malaysian capital market as I am sure Petronas will be viewed as one of the must own asset among larger funds. Hence, probably from this, weightage on Malaysia would be higher.
  3. Dependency on oil would be lessened. We know that over the next 20 years, the world's dependency on oil is being relooked at. As an example, several countries such as Britain, France, China are doing away with full carburetor cars and with that many other countries would follow as these are car producing countries. By floating Petronas, we would have been less dependent on Petronas  and as such can use the funds to build other sectors. We need to bring back the push for some technology sectors which the government has not focus on like the semiconductor, ICT, Industry 4.0 etc.
  4. Petronas's Board and CEO would have a different focus. Today, they report to the PM, and that is not what we want. We want them to report to the public. We want international analysts to review them. We want others to be critical of them. Again, one of the things I am not able to comprehensively have a view is the close structure of our most valuable asset.
Much has been said about our national debt but we will need to continue to grow as a country, and not pull back our development work. We will still need modern infrastructure such as MRT, roads, ports, intellect people, telecommunication assets.

And this is probably the best time to do that as we are moving towards a new era of development and governance.


Unknown said...

Looks like Tony is into another trouble now. CBI is filing a case on him.

Fique said...

consolidated report on petronas financial can be found at petronas website. pls check.