Media Prima now under the shadow of Daim and Mahathir

Former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin has denied a suggestion that he was keen to make a move on Media Prima (see news item, far below).

TTF: I find that a little hard to believe, considering that Amanah Raya Berhad, a Minister of Finance Incorporated trustee concern, was recently named a substantial shareholder of Media Prima with an 11.09 per cent stake in the company.

Amanah was once chaired by Tan Sri Sabbaruddin bin Chik, a former Minister of Culture, Arts and Tourism who served both in Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s and Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s cabinets between the years 1999 and 2004.

On the 10th of October 2018, Amanah announced the appointment of Mohd Nasir Ali as company chairman effective the 12th of October 2018.

Three weeks later, Nasir tendered his resignation as Independent and Non Executive Chairman of a well known Daim counter, Plenitude Berhad, leaving the impression that he no longer was associated with any of Daim’s concerns.

But a quick check with an RoC insider confirmed that the Daim crony still retains his directorship of EA Technique (M) Berhad, yet another Daim counter that, on the 27th of June 2018, secured two contracts from ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Malaysia Inc.

Just in case you’re new to this blog, on the 31st of August 2018, I explained in reasonable detail how Mirzan Mahathir owned a substantial chunk of ExxonMobil’s downstream business via Petron Corporation, the largest oil refining and marketing company there is in the Philippines (READ HERE).

What this means, is that Media Prima is now under the shadow of a man, who not only is answerable to the son of the Prime Minister of Malaysia, he happens to be a well known business associate of the most prominent member of the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP), Daim Zainuddin.

KUALA LUMPUR: Former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin has denied a suggestion that he was keen to make a move on Media Prima.

His denial was made yesterday when asked by journalists after a conference, reported The Edge Financial Daily today.

After the May 9 general elections, the new Pakatan Harapan government appointed Daim as chairman of the Council of Eminent Persons.

Daim insisted that Media Prima is still controlled by Umno, while conceding that the party is looking to sell its stake.  The media group has TV3, 8TV, ntv7 and TV9 and the New Straits Times Press in its stable.

Umno is linked to a 7.96 per cent stake in Media Prima via Singapore-registered company Altima Inc. According to the group’s 2018 annual report, another Umno-linked company, Gabungan Kesturi Sdn. Bhd., owned an 11.09 per cent as at February.

According to the Edge’s report, filings with Bursa Malaysia also revealed that Morgan Stanley & Co LLC was the group’s largest shareholder with a 12.73 per cent stake as of October 15, although it is unclear whom the shares are being held for.

The Employees Provident Fund had pared down its stake to 11.94 per cent as of yesterday from 13.25 per cent in February, while Amanah Raya Berhad has surfaced as a substantial shareholder with 11.09 per cent.

Daim was also quoted as acknowledging that while he oversaw Media Prima in the 1980s, he was not interested in doing so again.

“It’s a new generation, [news is] online and on web portals,” he pointed out, noting that people today want to hear honest and frank ideas in order to stimulate debate.

“If you follow the old system [and] report what the government wants you to report, nobody is going to buy,” Daim said.

Shares in Media Prima closed 0.5 sen or 1.22 per cent higher at 41.5 sen yesterday, bringing a market capitalisation of RM460.32 million. Year to date (YTD), its share price has fallen 43.8 per cent.

The stock had however recovered 46.4 per cent from its YTD low of 28 sen on May 15 in the week after the 14th general elections on May 9.

Source: The Mole