Nazir is a leading deal broker, but does he just leave things broken?
KUALA LUMPUR: A 2010 statement by CIMB Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Datuk Seri Nazir Abdul Razak that he has “strong opinions about how the NEP has been bastardised over the years” rings hollow because he is guilty of that which he complains about, says a blogger.
Blogger Jebat Must Die wrote in his blog on May 24 that Nazir and “his partners in crime in Khazanah Nasional and AirAsia” have themselves bastardised several high-profile projects, namely the Malaysia Airlines-AirAsia “share swap”, the Integrated Health Holdings IPO, and the Sime Darby-E&O deal.
On the MAS-AirAsia share swap, the blogger said: “Clearly, the whole collaboration was poorly advised by CIMB and yet they got to pocket and keep the ‘brokerage fee’ even after the said deal was proven to be one of the biggest blunders by him and Khazanah Nasional.”
“In order to save his reputation as a leading broker of deals in this hemisphere, he made a meek riposte on how the deal was not in vain after all.
“But the truth is, small pockets of people got to have a really fat pocket over a dodgy affair without any comprehensive thought process being deliberated.”
In the case of Integrated Healthcare Holdings, the blogger said, Nazir had set prohibitive conditions for bumiputra shareholders.
“What irked the blogosphere was the fact that such ridiculous conditions will only make the rich bumiputra richer while the less rich but enough cash to buy some shares will not be given that opportunity. Hence, small pockets of people are going to have a really fat pocket,” he said, adding Nazir continues to be paid for “second-rate advice”.
The Sime Darby-E&O deal, said the blogger, “was executed in the most highly inappropriate manner with irregular increase of share prices and conflicts of interest”.
Jebat Must Die said the deal was a “fiasco” that prompted an investigation by the Securities Commission but with no real action taken.
“Needless to say, the broker will always get away with the least amount of risk but with the maximum returns he could garner,” he said.
“Basically it is better for Nazir Razak to look into the mirror and revisit the statement he made back in 2010 before lambasting a policy which benefitted mostly him.”
“To us, NazirRazak is the leading L’enfant terrible in bastardising the NEP,” he said.
While reader comments were mostly in agreement with the blogger, one reader defended Nazir and CIMB to some extent, saying their role in such deals is “at best ambiguous” and that CIMB is in fact “one of the best options out there for these companies”.
That comment was met with disagreement, with one reader saying “Expert advice should be sound, not ambiguous.”
“I dislike the idea of Khazanah, which is owned by the Government…going to CIMB after knowing CIMB’s not-so-sound recommendations prior to that e.g on Sime Darby. And the advice given on the MAS-Air Asia deal appeared to be largely to Tony Fernandez’ favour.”