KUALA LUMPUR, July 5 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has expressed confidence that the national sovereign wealth fund, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, is now perfectly positioned to embark aggressively on the signature strategic initiative, Advancing Malaysia.

“I am cognisant of the fact that Khazanah does not expect recovery in hard-hit sectors such as aviation and tourism until 2023, but I am very confident in the management’s ability to do their best to overcome the specific challenges impacting these important sectors and create sustainable growth for the long term.

“I am also encouraged by Khazanah’s positive overall performance in 2021 despite the significant commercial obstacles caused by the movement control order and a tepid global economy,” Ismail, who is also Khazanah chairman, said in The Khazanah Report 2021 released yesterday.

He noted that strong stakeholder relationships have served as positive enablers to assist Khazanah in attaining positive and sustainable outcomes during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This co-dependence and interoperability of organisations and ecosystems proved to be so important when the pandemic struck.

“It was a clear demonstration of how robust networks and ecosystems are essential for seamless cooperation in the worst times of a crisis,” he said.

Managing director Datuk Amirul Feisal Wan Zahir said in the report that Advancing Malaysia defines Khazanah’s strategies more comprehensively on how to address the issues and challenges faced by its stakeholders — the government, private sector and community.

He said the company targets to spur and catalyse new growth areas to make Malaysia more resilient and competitive via Dana Impak, a RM6 billion commitment for catalytic sectors.

“The initiatives will have specific financial commitments to be aligned with the national agenda and will be guided by a set of outcomes such as increasing household incomes, improving other socio-economic measures, and promoting crowding-in by the private sector,” he said.

Amirul Feisal also said Khazanah will strengthen its role as an active corporate player and continue to be a global investor to grow its portfolio while finding opportunities to facilitate flows of knowledge, networks, and investment opportunities into Malaysia.

“With our investments overseas, we have also built strong relationships for both Khazanah and Malaysia, which has enhanced Malaysia’s reputation as a progressive nation that participates meaningfully in the global economy and investment community,” he said.

Through Advancing Malaysia, Khazanah will also remain committed to building capacity and vibrant communities that aim to enhance societal value creation that will benefit all Malaysians.

“These initiatives will be determined based on the current societal landscape and will be done either directly or via Khazanah’s entities such as Yayasan Hasanah, Khazanah Research Institute, Taman Tugu, and Yayasan Khazanah,” he said.

In 2021, Khazanah continued to grow its portfolio value with net asset value growing to RM86 billion from RM79 billion in 2020, translating to a compounded annual growth rate of 5.8 per cent since 2004.

He said operating profits were lower at RM670 million compared with RM2.9 billion in 2020, mainly due to the provision of significant financial support to its aviation and tourism assets due to the devastating pandemic.

Khazanah delivered RM2 billion in dividends to support the government’s efforts in tackling the pandemic. — Bernama