August 3, 2018 / 8:31 AM / a year ago

Malaysia's Khazanah names pension fund CEO Shahril as MD

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional named Shahril Ridza Ridzuan, chief executive officer of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), as its managing director, just days after Khazanah’s board quit in the biggest shake-up at the fund since a new government took charge.

Shahril will start in his new role from Aug. 20, Khazanah said on Friday.

Citing sources, Reuters had reported on Thursday that Shahril was the top pick for the position.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who has criticized Khazanah’s strategy, was appointed its chairman this week.

Managing Director Azman Mokhtar and the entire board of Khazanah Nasional, a fund with a corpus of 157.2 billion ringgit ($38.5 billion), offered to resign last week under political pressure.

The fund is likely to cut stakes in some top state-linked firms as the government overhauls the sovereign wealth fund’s investment strategy to boost transparency and slash national debt, banking and financial industry sources told Reuters.

Malaysia is saddled with over 1 trillion ringgit in debt, swelled by liabilities tied to 1MDB, the scandal over which led to the ouster of Najib’s government and the return of 93-year-old strongman Mahathir.

Mahathir has been quick to deliver his promise of a corporate clean-up in Malaysia.

In June, government-linked fund manager Permodalan Nasional Bhd appointed former long-serving central bank governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz as its group chairman.

The government on Wednesday appointed Ahmad Nizam Salleh as chairman to state oil company Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) [PETR.UL].

Reporting by Rozanna Latiff and Liz Lee; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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