Malaysian pension fund could opt to privatise Boustead

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia's armed forces pension fund is weighing options for its controlling stake in Boustead Holdings, including taking the conglomerate private, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT), which holds a 59 per cent stake in Boustead, has received approval for a loan to finance the deal, one of the people said.

Shares in Boustead, an investment group whose interests span real estate, financial services, plantations and manufacturing, surged as much as 18.6 per cent yesterday and hit their highest level since March 9.

The potential privatisation of Boustead comes as LTAT attempts to restructure itself amid performance challenges that predate the coronavirus crisis. LTAT is working with advisers on the restructuring.

Discussions are still in the early stages and LTAT could still decide not to proceed with the sale, the people said. Representatives from Boustead and LTAT did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The fund was set up in 1972 to provide retirement and other benefits to members of Malaysia's military. Members are required to contribute 10 per cent of their monthly salary while the government contributes 15 per cent, according to its website.

LTAT has about RM9.5 billion (S$3.1 billion) in assets under management, said state news agency Bernama.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 29, 2020, with the headline 'Malaysian pension fund could opt to privatise Boustead'. Subscribe