KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 9): There is still "a lot" of growth potential in the Malaysian private equity market, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar.
This is despite the private equity market growing at mid-teen levels, according to Wahid.
Speaking to the press at the inaugural Malaysian Private Equity Forum 2014 today, Wahid noted that the Malaysian government was very much interested in the private sector driving investments in the country.
He said the government was happy to see greater participation from the private sector.
"Last year, total private investments amounted to some RM160 billion, making up 60.5% of the total investments. In the first half of this year, total private investments amounted to RM97.5 billion, making up 69% of total investments of about RM141 billion," Wahid said.
Wahid said this was good progress for private investments in the country.
"And one of the ways to spur private investments is to make sure that businesses will have adequate access to capital," Wahid said.
Wahid pointed that capital in the past had traditionally been linked to the debt and equity capital markets, such as through initial public offerings.
"But another form of capital, which we believe is still very much in its adolescent stage, is private equity," he said.
Government-linked private equity fund Ekuiti Nasional Bhd CEO Datuk Abdul Rahman Ahmad echoed Wahid's views on the sector.
Abdul Rahman noted that one area Malaysia was still lagging behind was in the amount of capital that domestic investment institutions allocated into private equities.
"We hope with the support of the government, more and more of not only government-linked investment corporations but also domestic long term investment institutions such as the insurance companies and endowment funds would see private equity as a way to enhance returns," Abdul Rahman said.