New Straits Times , Photo Credit to New Straits Times
clock 01-10-2018
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PNB to Invest Into Affordable Housing

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Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) is taking advantage of the country's property market imbalance to explore the affordable housing market which has yet to be fully explored by property developers.

Adding to that, PNB chairman Tan Sri Dr Zeti Aziz said the current segment of property growth is not balanced with excess supply across commercial and residential categories.

"We intend to manage the inventory of these properties. We will not continue to contribute to the excess supply in the luxury residential segment that has already taken place.

"The oversupply of luxury residential would likely stretch until 2022. So we need to work together to not exacerbate the current situation.

"There is a great opportunity in the property development sector, and affordable housing is one of our current main focus," he said during a media conference in Kuala Lumpur recently.

However, Zeti, who started this job in PNB in ??July 2018, said that it would be carried in stages.

Her team will study opportunities and risks, while at the same time build on capabilities before exploring future investments.

"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.

"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," she said.

Zeti said PNB is currently focusing on balancing its property portfolio.

"Last year, PNB sold its assets in I&P Group Sdn Bhd and this year, we have completed the sale of 90 High Holborn in London.

"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," she said.

Zeti said it is important for PNB, as Malaysia's largest fund manager, to diversify its investment assets across the world.

"This is something that needs to be done gradually. PNB has grown and become very important contributor to Malaysia's economy.

"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 per cent to three per cent 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 said.

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