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LONDON: A Malaysian private investment firm with RM985.2 million (GBP200 million) geared for equity investment here is set to go at the heart of Mayfair.
Prima Ekuiti (UK) Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP).
The decision to set up office through a subsidiary was first mooted seven months ago by KWAP's top managers.
This will be its first overseas venture. Launched yesterday, Prima Ekuiti's establishment is part of KWAP's strategy to diversify its equity portfolio abroad, with UK among its key target markets.
"In the equity market, we have to be where the action is. London is the most active European financial market. We are taking baby steps, preparing ourselves to be in tip top condition roaring to go when the market here recovers," KWAP Chief Executive Officer Datuk Azian Mohd Noh told Bernama Tuesday.
"Even though some investors may be apprehensive on the prospects of the UK and European markets, amid the current challenges and news of excessive sovereign debt, we see investment potential in companies with strong business models, wide geographic reach and track record of resilience and sustainable growth," Prima Ekuiti Chairman Datuk Mohammed Azlan Hashim said in his welcoming address.
"Some of these companies are made even more attractive by the current relatively lower sterling and euro and cheap valuations that reflect more the weak investor sentiment, rather than the companies' fundamentals," he added.
Mohammed Azlan did also acknowledge that equity investments are not risk-free.
"They also have their associated risks and are also about timing and about medium to long term time horizons," he said.
While currently with an investment focus on equities, the company will eventually move into other asset classes, such as fixed income.
KWAP Chairman Tan Sri Dr Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah was present to open the new office, witnessed by Malaysian High Commissioner to the UK Datuk Seri Zakaria Sulong.
KWAP is a pension fund established in March 2007 to fund Malaysia's public sector pension scheme. Its main activities are fund management and managing contributions received from the government, statutory bodies, legal authorities and government agencies.
As of Dec 31, 2011, KWAP's fund size stood at RM78.86 billion (GBP16 billion). -- BERNAMA