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PNB To Venture Into Affordable Housing

With the oversupply in luxury residential property expected to stretch until 2022, Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) will not exacerbate the situation by investing in the affordable housing segment, said PNB chairman Tan Sri Dr Zeti Aziz.

“We will not continue to contribute to the excess supply in the luxury residential segment that has already taken place,” she said.

“There is a great opportunity in the property development sector, and affordable housing is one of our current main focus.”

She noted that her team will study first the market risks and opportunities, while building on capabilities before venturing into future investments, reported New Straits Times.

“It will take time to move into that direction. We need to examine in a comprehensive manner the changes made either in the real estate sector or in other sectors,” said Zeti.

“We have to consider the risk factors. What is important is that PNB does not want to make any drastic changes that will affect the market.”

Zeti revealed that PNB is presently focused on balancing its property portfolio.

In fact, it has sold 90 High Holborn in London this year as well as its assets in I&P Group Sdn Bhd last year.

“Our main property company, PNB Development Sdn Bhd, is also executing several offers, including the sale of land in Kota Seri Langat and the purchase of commercial properties owned by Media Prima Bhd.”

As Malaysia’s biggest fund manager, it is important for PNB to diversify its investment assets.

“This is something that needs to be done gradually. PNB has grown and become very important contributor to Malaysia’s economy,” said Zeti.

“During my stint at Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), we initially managed our reserves by focusing on developed countries and fast-growing financial markets…However, in 2003, BNM move onto investing in emerging markets with just starting one percent to three percent of our portfolio size.”

“When we build on our expertise, we managed to increase its size…So, this will be the approach we will use on PNB’s asset optimisation. We will not be in a hurry,” she added.

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