Butterworth: Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop yesterday dismissed allegations that foreign companies are trying to wrest control of Malaysian government-linked companies (GLCs). He said local investors currently had adequate funds to buy shares in GLCs and there were no compelling reasons for foreign fund injection.
"There is no truth whatsoever that foreign firms are trying to control our GLCs," he said, after launching Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Bhd (PUNB)’s Prosper Programme roadshow here yesterday.
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin had said that the government would increasingly float the shares of GLCs to make the stock market more attractive and competitive, generating interest among foreign equity investors.
"The foreign investors are looking for liquidity and big companies in the market," he was quoted as saying in news reports last month.
On Prosper Programme, he said the initiatives were expected to generate returns of over RM1 billion by the end of the Ninth Malaysia Plan.
He said about 3,000 retailers had been groomed since the launch of the programme in 2000, with income of about RM500 million.
Nor Mohamed said during the period under review, PUNB had approved applications from 1,276 Bumiputera retail-based companies but only 887 had started their operations.
"The rest are still in the planning stage and expected to start operations soon," he said.
He said by 2010 the government hoped to create about 1,450 more retailers under the Prosper Programme, to spur Bumiputera economic development.
Towards this end, he said, the government has allocated about RM350 million under the 9MP to create new retail networks among Bumiputeras.
The programme had expanded to include the wholesale sector.
He said some RM320 million has been allocated to fund 1,276 retailers and about RM25 million for 21 Bumiputera wholesalers.
Nor Mohamed said some RM350 million under the 9MP allocation had been set aside to create 140 wholesalers by 2010.
The Prosper Programme also targeted fresh graduates to enter business ventures with great potential.
About RM25 million has been allocated for about 1,000 prospective entrepreneurs, out of which 153 graduates had already received RM5.2 million for ventures in insurance and beauty products. — Bernama