KUALA LUMPUR: Diversified conglomerate MMC Corp Bhd has confirmed a report by The Edge Malaysia weekly that it is in talks with Sabah-controlled Suria Capital Holdings Bhd to take up a stake in the latter’s wholly-owned Sabah Ports Sdn Bhd. “We wish to clarify that the discussion between MMC and Suria Capital Holdings Bhd with regard to the proposed acquisition of a stake in Sabah Ports Sdn Bhd by MMC Port Holdings Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MMC, has taken place. “However, as at to date, the board of directors of MMC has yet to make any firm decision in relation to the same,” it told Bursa Malaysia in a filing yesterday. Suria Capital also confirmed the discussions in a separate but similar Bursa filing. Warisan Harta Sabah Sdn Bhd, the investment arm of the Sabah government, controls 45.4% of Suria Capital. Yayasan Sabah Group has 3.67% while the Chief Minister, State of Sabah, holds 1.66%. Altogether, the state holds a 50.37% stake in Suria Capital. The Edge Malaysia wrote in its publication for the week of Aug 7 to 13, citing sources, that MMC is in talks with Suria Capital to buy a stake in Sabah Ports, but that nothing has been firmed up so far. The size of the stake MMC is looking to acquire is also not clear yet, it noted.
Sabah Ports has a 30-year concession, which commenced in 2004, to manage and operate eight ports in the state. They are Kota Kinabalu Port, Sapangar Bay Container Port, Sapangar Bay Oil Terminal and Kudat Port — all located on the west coast of Sabah — as well as Sandakan Port, Tawau Port, Lahad Datu Port and Kunak Port on the Sabah’s east coast. Both MMC and Suria Capital said further announcements will be made if there is any material development in relation to the matter. MMC shares rose four sen or 1.7% to close at RM2.40 yesterday, with a market capitalisation of RM7.31 billion. Suria Capital was unchanged at RM2.16, valuing it at RM622.48 million.