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Malaysia’s Plan To Privatise MAHB Gains Momentum, Reports CNA

Malaysia’s Plan To Privatise MAHB Gains Momentum, Reports CNA

Despite political controversy, the government is committed to ensuring Malaysia’s airport privatisation proceeds smoothly, positioning the country as a premier global aviation hub.

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Malaysia’s plan to privatise its national airport operator, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), looks set to proceed despite facing strong headwinds, according to a report by Singapore’s CNA.

Despite the challenges and controversies surrounding US asset manager BlackRock’s involvement, the multi-billion-dollar deal is poised to significantly benefit Malaysia’s economy and its global aviation hub ambitions.

In mid-May, sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) announced a consortium with BlackRock-linked Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) to take MAHB private.

The proposed deal, valued at around US$2.30 (RM11) per share, would see the two Malaysian funds hold a 70% stake in the consortium, with the foreign parties owning the remainder.

This partnership is set to inject much-needed investment and knowledge into MAHB, enabling it to modernize its infrastructure, improve services, and enhance the overall passenger experience.

Many passengers have already voiced their concerns about the current state of the nation’s crown jewel, the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), citing issues such as outdated facilities, long queues, and inconsistent service quality.

Unlocking Malaysia’s Aviation Potential: BlackRock’s Vital Role in MAHB Privatisation

While some have raised concerns about BlackRock’s ties to Israel, it is crucial to recognize the immense value that such a renowned global player can bring to the table.

BlackRock’s involvement in the deal is a testament to Malaysia’s attractiveness as an investment destination and its potential to become a leading aviation hub in the region.

The political cost of removing BlackRock from the equation could harm Malaysia’s international reputation and ability to attract foreign investments.

Moreover, privatising MAHB is a strategic move that will position Malaysia’s aviation sector to compete globally.

This is particularly important given that KLIA has recently been rated among the worst airports.

By bringing in international players like BlackRock and ADIA, the country can tap into their expertise and resources to transform Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) into a world-class facility.

This, in turn, will attract more international airlines, boost tourism, and create new opportunities for economic growth.

READ MORE: Malaysia’s Aviation Crossroads: Thailand’s Ambitions Highlight Need For MAHB Privatization

READ MORE: Taking Off To New Heights: Malaysian Airports Journey To Finally Being World Class?

In a response to CNA, Khazanah Nasional firmly justified its proposed privatization plan.

They highlighted that GIP was chosen after thoroughly reviewing potential technical partners, including international airport operators.

GIP boasts impressive credentials, being recognized as one of the top infrastructure managers globally.

With a 17-year history, GIP currently manages assets of US$112 billion (RM524.16 billion), including ports and airports, and has substantial investments in renewable energy and oil and gas projects worldwide.

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