Leadership change has limited impact on Pharmaniaga’s operation


PHARMANIAGA Bhd’s recent boardroom change will not have a major impact on the company’s operation and plans to roll out the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

The country’s largest pharmaceutical company on Monday appointed Datuk Seri Mohammed Shazalli Ramly as non-independent non-executive chairman, succeeding Datuk Dr Hafsah Hashim who resigned immediately to “pursue other interests”.

Mohammed Shazalli is currently the MD of Boustead Holdings Bhd and was previously Telekom Malaysia Bhd MD and CEO from April 2017 to June 2018.

At the same time, Pharmaniaga also appointed Izaddeen Daud as the company’s non-independent and non-ED, according to a separate filing.

Federation of Public Listed Companies Bhd president Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas said the change at the board level should not affect the company’s operation.

He said although the board is responsible for setting the tone of how the company should run, the MD and the company’s management shall be given the authority to execute its operation independently.

“It is only at the board level where the chairman will chair the board meeting. The most important thing is that the management of the company is still there and knows what they are doing so that the new directors can receive the baton and hit the ground running.

“The company plays an important part in ensuring a smooth vaccine distribution process. I hope the directors will allow the management to run the company in the most professional way,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) when contacted yesterday.

Mohammed Shazalli’s appointment confirms TMR’s report on Monday.

The appointment of the two key roles came as Pharmaniaga is poised to bottle and distribute 14 million doses of the Sinovac Covid- 19 vaccine. The first 200 litres of the vaccine arrived on Saturday and is enough to make 300,000 doses.

Mohammed Shazalli most recently made headlines in December, when he was appointed MD of Boustead, which has a 55.83% controlling stake in Pharmaniaga.

In January, Pharmaniaga partnered China’s Sinovac Life Sciences Co Ltd for the supply of 14 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to cover 22% of Malaysia’s population.

MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd (MIDF Research) analyst Noor Athila Mohd Razali said the bank maintained ‘Neutral’ on its January target price of RM4.74 for Pharmaniaga with positive bias.

“Agreement is kept confidential, we are not able to forecast any contributions at this juncture,” she told TMR.

She said the signing of the agreement between the Health Ministry and Pharmaniaga provided some form of clarity in terms of the trajectory of the nation’s Covid-19 immunisation plan.

MIDF Research viewed the fill-and-finish deal, coupled with the end-distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine, to contribute marginally to the group’s earnings.

Read our previous report here

Shazalli appointed as Pharmaniaga chairman