Malaysian sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional said Monday that it aims to provide additional MYR 600 million ($128 million) in 2024 to support startups in Malaysia.

Khazanah said in a statement that Dana Impak, through a combination of existing as well as new initiatives and programs, aims to commit an additional MYR 600 million for Malaysian companies.

It said the financial investment aims to support companies of varying sizes and stages of growth ranging from startups, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to medium-sized companies, with the dual objectives of nurturing local and regional champions, as well as catalyzing new economic growth for the nation.

Through its Dana Impak initiative, Khazanah aims to invigorate ecosystems, collaborate with stakeholders, and influence policy for sustained economic growth and resilience.

It is noted that Dana Impak identified projects worth over MYR 800 million ($171 million) across the six key themes, with new programs launched to bolster Malaysia’s digital and startup ecosystem via financial investments and human capital development.

Initiatives include the Future Malaysia Program, Future Malaysia Skills, MSME Digitalization and Khazanah Impact Innovation Challenge 2023 underscoring Khazanah’s commitment to investing in catalytic sectors.

These efforts aim to enhance Malaysia’s economic competitiveness and socio-economic benefits, reinforcing Dana Impak as one of the key pillars under the Advancing Malaysia strategy.

Additionally, Khazanah together with other government-linked companies (GLCs) and government linked investment companies (GLICs) are committed to supporting the government’s efforts in empowering and reforming the Bumiputera economic development agenda.

In 2024, Khazanah also eyes energy transition by supporting Malaysia’s goal of net zero emissions by 2050 through its leadership in Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB)’s National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR) execution and UEM Lestra Bhd’s green energy projects, to ensure a just and sustainable energy transition.

It said UEM Lestra, along with other UEM Group of companies will undertake this initiative by investing in and building domestic champions in various green sectors comprising renewable energy and storage as well as green buildings and energy efficiency.

Khazanah sees the launch of the green investment platform, UEM Lestra under Khazanah’s wholly owned subsidiary, UEM Group Berhad as a notable achievement in 2023 in support of the government’s aspirations of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, outlined in the NETR.

The firm also targets to lead the digital transformation across its portfolio companies to boost productivity and global competitiveness.

The firm also aims to enhance Malaysia’s role as a hub through strategic investments in Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) and Malaysia Aviation Group Bhd (MAGB), essential for attracting capital, investors, and talent in line with the New Industrial Master Plan 2030.

Meanwhile, the firm expects that the global macroeconomic and market environment to remain challenging and volatile in 2024, with ongoing geopolitical conflicts in the Middle East, the continuation of the Russia-Ukraine War, and global competition between China and the United States.

Additionally, a significant global election cycle involving 76 countries representing over 60 percent of the world’s gross development product (GDP) will introduce further volatility.

In this environment, Khazanah said it remains vigilant in its investment activities to maintain portfolio resilience through strategic diversification.

“As we forge ahead, we aim to grow our portfolio by executing value-creation plans for our Malaysian assets and ensuring a diversified portfolio through rebalancing and a disciplined investment approach,

“Our efforts and commitment to our stakeholders will continue to align with the goals of Ekonomi MADANI, fostering inclusive growth for all,” Khazanah’s Managing Director Amirul Feisal Wan Zahir said.

Meanwhile, Khazanah recorded profit from operations of MYR 5.9 billion ($1.26 billion) in 2023, a significant increase from MYR 1.6 billion ($340 million) in 2022.

According to the statement, the growth was driven by higher dividends and distributions from investee companies, fair value gains, and capital preservation.

In 2023, Khazanah also successfully met its 2023 environmental, social, and governance (ESG) targets, which included achieving carbon-neutral operations, establishing a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) framework, and incorporating ESG-linked key performance indicators (KPIs) for key leadership positions across its portfolio companies.

“Our commitment remains as we continue to leverage our value creation efforts and portfolio rebalancing approach to strengthen our balance sheet and build a resilient financial

“While 2024 is expected to be yet another challenging year globally with heightened political uncertainties, advancing Malaysia will remain our overarching theme to steer our strategies and actions towards delivering national development and ensuring a sustainable future for Malaysia,” said Amirul Feisal.

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