Khazanah Nasional invests RM4.2b in global tech firms

By P PREM KUMAR & MARK RAO / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

KHAZANAH Nasional Bhd has invested some US$1 billion (RM4.2 billion) in 25 global technology companies, utilising the gains derived from its investment in global e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

Khazanah MD Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar (picture) said the re-investment strategy will enable the state strategic investment fund to capitalise on the booming global technology sector.

He said Khazanah has managed to reinvest a portion of the gains into 25 tech-based companies, including several artificial intelligence companies.

“Khazanah has been actively investing in tech companies. We have an office in the Silicon Valley in the US and also in Beijing, China.

“Our investments in the tech sector currently total about US$1 billion, spread across 25 companies worldwide,” he told reporters at Khazanah’s Megatrends Forum 2017 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Azman added that the gains from Alibaba had enabled the diversified tech investment.

He said Khazanah is currently sitting on approximately US$1.4 billion in unrealised gains from its investment in Alibaba, committed in 2012.

Khazanah invested US$400 million in the Jack Ma-owned company, then representing a 0.6% stake.

Khazanah was also believed to have sold a portion of its shares after Alibaba was listed in 2014 and presently holds an undisclosed amount of shares.

Azman declined to commit on a target for how many companies Khazanah is aiming to further invest in, but said the investment fund typically does not invest in more than 20 companies annually.

“We always have a long pipeline of investments and, for every investment Khazanah makes, we will evaluate between 30 to 50 companies,” he said.

He said Khazanah will continue to practise a balanced investment strategy and look into sectors outside technology going forward, adding that its current portfolio of companies will need to adapt to the technology boom.

“Our companies are doing well — including Telekom Malaysia Bhd, Axiata Group Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. They have to be conscious of the technology trend because whole industries are getting disrupted,” he said.

Meanwhile, Azman kept mum on the potential replacement for Khazanah’s former deputy chairman Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop.

Nor Mohamed, 70, resigned from the second-top position in Khazanah effective Sept 30, due to personal reasons.

Nor Mohamed, a former finance minister, had served on Khazanah’s board as director for 15 years, making him its longest-serving board member and the only deputy chairman in its 23-year history.