Malaysia wants to break up big firms without hurting stocks

Malaysia needs to review on a case-by-case basis whether it needs to hold on to its golden shares in state-linked firms, said Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. PHOTO: REUTERS
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KUALA LUMPUR (BLOOMBERG) - Malaysia is considering the merits of having the state control its biggest companies, after moves to break up their dominance in sectors from the Internet to electricity led to declines in Asia's worst major stock market.

The government needs to review on a case-by-case basis whether it needs to hold on to its golden shares in state-linked firms, as the 1MDB scandal proves it's still needed, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Tuesday (Jan 14). His administration has sought to make the companies more efficient to meet its campaign promise of lowering living costs, a drive that analysts expect to benefit the economy in the long run.

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