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Friday, June 27, 2008

Higher bumi equity holdings: Commentary

It seems UMNO Branch Elections will start this July 17, culminating in the Supreme Council polls in December.

The PM knows that everyone knows that he is facing a real challenge in this upcoming UMNO election.

Many mentioned the PM has now shifted gear.

Instead of focussing on Malaysian issues, he is more likely to push for Malay interests first. Even if this is at the expense of nation's best interest.

Thus we can expect more of the same (old sheeet?), especially on issues like the above.

I personally don't think it's the right thing to do.

The PM should always be PM of ALL Malaysians first. Yesterday, today and tomorrow.

But sadly, we live in the land of Malaysia Boleh. Where personal interests always come first before national interests. Maybe I am getting too idealistic.


If you are over the age of 18, chances are you will have heard and remember that the Bumiputera equity holding is not a new issue.

It's an issue that has been debated and discussed many, many times with great passion in the past.

But since it was reported in the Star today, I intend to apply critical thinking today on it anyway.

We should never be complacent about these things.

My usual comments in Italics Bold in Brackets.


Full article here - http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/6/27/business/21670303&sec=business

Higher bumi equity holdings

PETALING JAYA: Bumiputra equity ownership in the corporate sector, based on the par value of shares, increased to 19.4%, or RM120.38bil, in 2006 from 18.9% in 2004, according to the Economic Planning Unit (EPU).

(Seng comment: Three points:

1. Please, please, please split Corporate Sector into Listed vs Unlisted Companies lar. Why?

Because Listed Companies are not small - $700 Billion to $1 Trillion, depending on market values.

2. Show Market Values also lar, not just Par Values. Why?

Because Par values are outdated and totally irrelevant. Market value is what's paid out when sold, not par value. Market Value for older companies can be far bigger than Par Value. Market Values for listed companies are readily available.

It is "kacang putih" for EPU to publish Market Values. No technical excuses acceptable.

There's no real need to hide this info. When you hide, you create distrust. Nobody will believe you. Isn't this common sense?

3. I cannot comment intelligently Par value figures increasing from 18.9% 2004 to 19.4% 2006. I really don't know if market values are increasing or decreasing! It's like driving with eyes looking everywhere except the road in front and the map.)

It said the Government's target under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) was to attain bumiputra equity ownership of 20% to 25% by 2010.

(Seng comment: A government target using par value is just plain stupid.

It is as silly as you and me trying to increase our par value net worth by 2010!

No financially informed person would do this.

Our entire personal financial planning and financial services industry don't use par value!

Both Finance and Deputy Finance Minister should know this simple fact.

Why continue to behave like an ostrich sticking its own head in the sand and never look up?

If you want to continue whatever policy you are trying to justify, just continue. Don't insult our intelligence lar. The fact that you continue to justify whatever you are doing using Par Value shows clearly that you are not interested in listening to us anyway.

If the government is not interested, then, I hope the Opposition listens.)

EPU director-general Tan Sri Sulaiman Mahbob told a press briefing on the mid-term review of the 9MP on Wednesday that of the 19.4% in 2006, individual ownership was 15.1% (an increase from 15%), institutions at 2.6% (up from 2.2%) and trust agencies unchanged at 1.7%.

(Seng comment: I cannot be bothered to look at any analytical breakdown by par value by itself. It is just plain stupid.)

Equity ownership was based on the par value of shares and not on market capitalisation, he said.

Sulaiman said equity ownership in the corporate sector among non-bumiputras also increased from 40.6% in 2004 to 43.9% in 2006. Of the 43.9%, Chinese ownership increased from 39% to 42.4%, while for Indians, there was a slight decline from 1.2% to 1.1%. It was unchanged at 0.4% for other races.

(Seng comment: Trying to come to some wealth distribution conclusions by race using par value only is nonsensical. If every company runs their business to maximize par value, they would not go anywhere!)

Nominee companies owning shares showed a decline from 8% to 6.6%, while for foreigners, there was a drop from 32.5% from 30.1%.

(Seng comment: Yes, don't forget foreigner's shares too. Much more important than just focusing on races. Whilst we argue and bury our heads in the sand arguing which race gets more which gets less, Malaysians as a whole may be getting less shares! We should be Malaysians first, and race second, not the other way round.)

The estimation of the ownership took into account 680,000 active companies from the Companies Commission of Malaysia data. The Government's shares in firms, including government-linked companies, were excluded from the estimation.

(Seng comment: So, EPU has the sophistication to exclude certain companies. This is not easy and is undoubtedly computerised. But no sophistication to show market values? I guess Malaysian cows can fly.)



2nd Article from Malaysia Today. Full article here - http://www.malaysia-today.net/2008/content/view/9270/1/

Bumi ownership at 25% by 2010, says Abdullah

Posted by Super Admin
Friday, 27 June 2008

KL government will continue to push pro-Malay economic policies, says Premier

He proposed several measures to help Malays increase their ownership of listed companies to 30 per cent by 2020.

By Carolyn Hong, The Straits Times

MALAYSIA will continue to promote its pro-Malay economic policies to help increase bumiputera ownership of listed companies to up to 25 per cent by 2010.

Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, in tabling a mid-term review of the country's five-year development blueprint, said Malay corporate equity had increased from 18.9 per cent in 2004 to 19.4 per cent in 2006.

The final target is 30 per cent, by 2020.

He proposed several measures to reach this target, including setting up a database to monitor the performance of the majority-Malay community in the corporate sector.

'Greater emphasis will be put on ensuring that the bumiputera community has controlling stakes in private companies,' he told Parliament.

The Ninth Malaysia Plan runs from 2006 to 2010. The mid-term review is a scheduled revision of the plan.

The affirmative-action policies, which aim to give the Malays a leg-up in the economic and education sectors to help them catch up with the Chinese, have become controversial.

Latent resentment has bubbled to the surface in recent years as the Malay rhetoric escalates, and the issue has become a significant factor that caused non-Malay voters to shun the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.

The level of Malay corporate equity ownership has also come under dispute after an academic last year claimed that the 30 per cent target had already been reached.

He disputed the government's calculation method which excluded government-linked companies and used the par value of shares rather than their market value.


However, Datuk Seri Abdullah can ill afford to do that at a time when the Malay community is chafing at a perceived loss of power after the March 8 polls.


The report showed that the Indian share of corporate equity had slipped from 1.2 per cent to 1.1 per cent from 2004 to 2006, while Chinese ownership had risen from 39 per cent to 42.4 per cent.

(Seng comment: Again, analysis of wealth distribution using Par Values are stupid and nonsensical. One cannot draw any serious conclusion based on this...


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