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BlackRock Opts Out of Malaysia Airports Privatisation, GIP Reports

BlackRock Opts Out of Malaysia Airports Privatisation, GIP Reports

Following an outcry in Malaysia, a country with a majority of Muslims, about the American firm’s purported ties to Israel, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) announced that its buyer BlackRock would not be participating in the privatization of Malaysian airports.

The group that has offered to take over Malaysia Airport (MAHB) in a privatization proposal that would value the airport operator at $3.9 billion includes GIP Khazanah Nasional, the Malaysian national wealth fund and other parties.

Due to GIP’s connections to BlackRock’s substantial investments in Israel which is waging war against the terrorist Palestinian organization Hamas in Gaza, the idea has drawn criticism and complaints from certain opposition and governing party MPs in Malaysia, a country that is a fervent supporter of the Palestinian people.

Protests in Malaysia have recently focused on MAHB’s planned privatization, which comes after boycott efforts against Western corporations like McDonald’s and Starbucks due to their support of the Gaza war.

GIP stated that its current leadership team will retain full control and responsibility for the strategic direction and operation of GIP and the companies in which we have invested following its acquisition by BlackRock according to state news agency Bernama, citing a written response from GIP head of transportation Phil Iley.

Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) announced that its buyer BlackRock would not be participating in the privatization of Malaysian airports.

A GIP spokeswoman verified Bernama’s findings. Khazanah did not immediately reply to calls for comment.

Iley stated that, despite being a minority shareholder the firm would provide MAHB with as much operational support and assistance as necessary.

If we are successful in our transformation, we will seriously explore relisting MAHB on the Malaysian stock exchange in the future,” he added.

Khazanah has stated that GIP will not engage workers to directly oversee MAHB, while Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has dismissed reports that 25% of MAHB will be held by a pro-Zionist corporation, without naming the company, Bernama reported.

According to the agreement GIP and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority will control 30% of MAHB, with Khazanah and the Employees Provident Fund, Malaysia’s largest pension fund, owning the other 70%. The fund declined to react to a request for comment on GIP’s statement.

BlackRock’s $12.5 billion acquisition of GIP is likely to close in the third quarter. MAHB maintains 39 airports in Malaysia and one international airport in Turkey.

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Source

Reuter

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