Astro listing confirms Malaysia's standing as investment destination


KUALA LUMPUR: The proposed listing of the country's largest pay-TV operator, Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd, on the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia reconfirms Malaysia's reputation as one of the best and brightest destination for investment, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.


He said Malaysia was a safe haven for capital with businesses and exchanges thriving despite global financial uncertainties.
"The sustained investor interest in our companies speaks of the depth of opportunities in our country.
"It did not arise by chance but it is the product of commitment, dedication and hard work by those who have built globally competitive businesses," Najib said at the launch of Astro's prospectus here today.
Present was Information Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim and Astro Malaysia Chairman Tun Zaki Tun Azmi. 
Najib said the reforms introduced by the government in the Economic Transformation Programme has reinforced Malaysia's competitiveness and kept the country on track to become a high-income nation by 2020.
"If the commitment and professionalism of our businesses have given our economy the means with which to prosper, then the government has delivered the methods, for instance, the liberalisation of the services sector, investing in key industries and encouraging fast growth in finance.
"At a time when investors and businesses alike are worried by uncertainty, we have reduced the political risk by governing in a transparent and accountable fashion," he added.
The Prime Minister said all these achievements were done without sacrificing the needs and aspirations of the people, and this is the approach of the present government not just to the economy, but to society itself.
Malaysia, he said is a dynamic economy where investors and entrepreneurs alike can make the big calls that would secure long-term success.
"In the face of strong winds from the Eurozone, we have maintained our course with our economy growing 4.7 per cent in the first quarter of the year and 5.4 per cent in the second.
"We are also the fifth most competitive economy in Asia, the fifth highest destination for foreign direct investment, and third best services location in the world. And, we are unafraid to seek out new opportunities for growth," Najib said.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister also congratulated Astro for its hardwork  to-date and for the successful launch of the company's prospectus.
"I have to offer my congratulations to all those who have worked so hard to get this far. In just 6 years, Astro has grown into one of South East Asia's leading media entertainment group," he said.
He said Astro's achievement mirrored Malaysians' own development as media consumers, as satellite TV now beamed into half the homes in the country.
Najib added that in 1996, when Astro was launched, just 20,000 Malaysians accessed the Internet but today that number has grown to 16 million with 62 per cent of households online via broadband connections. -- BERNAMA

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak adjusting the microphones before delivering his speech. NSTP/ Supian Ahmad

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (2nd right) at the launch of Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd's prospectus in Kuala Lumpur on September 21. Also present were communications and culture minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim (4th left), Astro Malaysia Holdings chairman Tun Zaki Tun Azmi (3rd right) and Asro Malaysia CEO Datuk Rohana Rozhan (right). Bernama Photo

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