Najib: EPF enjoyed good returns from US investments

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak attends the Banyan Tree Leadership Forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington. ― Bernama pic
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak attends the Banyan Tree Leadership Forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington. ― Bernama pic

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WASHINGTON, Sept 14 ― Investments in the United States have brought good returns to Malaysian investors like the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Khazanah Holdings, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“EPF is very prudent and the US$6 billion (RM25.2 billion) invested in the US have contributed much to the dividends paid back to the contributors’ accounts,” he said to Malaysian newsmen at the end of his three-day visit to the US capital here yesterday.

Describing comments by some Opposition personalities as a “spin”, he said it was untrue that the investments by the pension fund for private sector workers represented a flight of capital from the country.

“We are talking about export of capital that brings healthy returns. It is not a one-way street.

“Even the billions (of US dollars) to be spent by Malaysia Airlines Berhad in buying planes from Boeing will see a return as it is part of the rationalisation and transformation plan of the airline. Malaysia Airlines will make money and create jobs with these investments,” Najib said.

In his discussions with US President Donald Trump on Tuesday, Najib had revealed to the American leader that Malaysia was now exporting capital to the US through the likes of EPF, Khazanah Holdings and national carrier Malaysia Airlines.

However, his revelation had drawn comments from the likes of PKR leaders Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and Rafizi Ramli that the investments were a flight of capital and could be better kept in the country.

Najib said this spin of the facts gave the impression that there were no returns while the truth was that much more money was brought back to the country.

“Khazanah’s US$400 million investments in high tech companies in the Silicon Valley has seen much success.”

The sovereign fund earned over US$1 billion on its US$400 million investment in China’s Alibaba in less than two years ahead of its New York listing.

EPF had been investing in US equity since 2008 and Najib revealed the pension fund was now eyeing funds linked to the redevelopment of infrastructure in the US.

This was what Najib had meant when he said Malaysia wanted to help boost the US economy.

On his meetings with several American captains of industries and businessmen, he said they expressed confidence in Malaysia and its economy.

Citing a poll, Najib said 63 per cent of US companies expected to make profit from their investments in Malaysia.

On the trade deficit between the US and Malaysia, he said the two countries will working things out to create a win-win situation.

The balance of trade is in favour of Malaysia, but the two countries cannot agree to the actual figure.

While Malaysia puts the figure at US$5 billion, the US claimed the figure was about US$20 billion.

Najib said this was because US included re-exports as part of the deficit, although Malaysia does not benefit directly.

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