Najib questions Khazanah sale of IHH shares to Japanese without tender

IHH Healthcare Berhad operates 49 private hospitals worldwide and also owns the International Medical University in Bukit Jalil as well as the International Medical College in Subang Jaya. (IMU pic)

PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak today questioned the action of Khazanah Nasional Berhad (Khazanah) in selling part of its investment in a company that owns a private hospital chain to a Japanese company without going through a tender process last week.

In a Facebook post, he said Khazanah had made Mitsui & Co Ltd the largest shareholder in IHH Healthcare Berhad despite the company being listed on Bursa Malaysia as a high-profit venture with high potential since 2012.

IHH, which employs 35,000 staff, operates 49 private hospitals worldwide, including in India, China and Turkey.

Mount Elizabeth, Gleneagles, Parkway and Pantai are some of the well-known IHH brands in Asia.

It is also the owner of the International Medical College in Subang Jaya and the International Medical University in Bukit Jalil here.

Najib said IHH’s value at the end of last year reached US$11 billion with an annual revenue of RM11.1 billion, resulting in a pre-tax profit of RM2.3 billion.

“It is such a waste that the only world-class Malaysian company, that enjoyed high profits, which developed rapidly and was full of potential under my administration, is now gone and belongs to the Japanese since last week.”

Najib was referring to a news report which announced Mitsui as IHH’s largest shareholder, with a 32.9% stake after Khazanah sold off 16% of its interest for RM8.4 billion.

After the sale, the government-linked company’s share dropped to only 26.05%.

Najib said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had since washed his hands over the matter, urging Najib to not blame him for the sale.

Lim was reported as saying that all affairs of Khazanah came under the prime minister’s jurisdiction.