EPF to loan RM5bn to Prokhas


KUALA LUMPUR, July 28, 2009 — A government agency which is administrating two schemes under the first economic stimulus package is in talks with the employees’ pension fund for a RM5 billion, a business daily said.

The Malaysian Reserve, citing an unidentifed source today, said the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) was ready to fund the loan at an undisclosed rate to Prokhas, the government-owned special purpose vehicle.

The source added that Prokhas was also looking at other financing options including government bonds, private debt securities or a term loan that may give more competitive rates.

Malaysia announced its first stimulus package of RM60 billion in March to shore up the export-reliant economy against the global economic crisis.

Prokhas manages two schemes under the package and was allocated 5 billion ringgit each, known as Working Capital Guarantee Scheme and the Industry Restructuring Loan Scheme, which is under the Ministry of Finance.

EPF’s talks with Prokhas may draw some criticism, as loans to government agencies and corporations have in the past been called bailouts for poorly performing local companies by critics and the resurgent opposition.

In 2008, the government said it would transfer RM5 billion from the EPF to state owned fundmanager Valuecap to be invested in undervalued Malaysian stocks. — Reuters

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