Finance Minister II neither denies nor confirms MoF’s acquisition of 51% stake in TRX office tower developer

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 11): Minister of Finance II Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani did not confirm or deny a report stating that the Minister of Finance (MoF) had bought a 51% stake in Mulia Property Development Sdn Bhd — the developer of The Exchange 106 at the Tun Razak Exchange in Kuala Lumpur.

When asked if the news is true, Johari said: “I don’t [have] the details for you, I will get the details later. Let’s just ask about this subject [the launch of the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers (BOVAEP)].”

Johari was speaking to reporters after the launch of the registry here today.

The Edge weekly, citing an unnamed executive familiar with the matter, reported that the controlling stake is said to have been acquired by MKD Signature Sdn Bhd from Mulia International Ltd, a part of Indonesian conglomerate Mulia Group, about two to three months ago.

It is unknown how much was paid for the 51% stake in the company.

A filing on MKD Signature shows that its directors are officials from the MoF, and that it has an unsatisfied RM2 billion charge created on Sept 15, 2017, from HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd.

Meanwhile, the company is wholly owned by Sentuhan Budiman Sdn Bhd, where its directors and shareholders are also MoF officials.

Johari also declined to comment on the recent land deal between Bank Negara Malaysia and the government.

The deal will see the central bank acquire a 55.79-acre land which is contiguous to the bank’s Sasana Kijang complex for RM2 billion or RM823 psf from the government, to relocate the Global Islamic Finance University (INCEIF) and the International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance, and will be used for future development of education and training facilities that will focus on enhancing the technical capabilities of the talents in the financial services industry.

“Bank Negara already made an announcement, what more you want to ask me? You check with Bank Negara’s announcement,” he said and walked away.

The announcement does not specify the exact location of the land, except that it is close to the new Asia School of Business (a collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) complex and the financial industry’s Financial Industry Training Centre which is currently under construction.

Some consultants who had spoken to The Edge suspect that the land may in fact be an extension of the popular Lake Gardens here.