KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 — The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has invested 40%, or RM240 million, in the RM600 million AREA Industrial Development Fund (AIDF-1).
“Logistic investment is something we do more now as it provides good returns,” said EPF Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan.
“It is a good asset for the long term, he told reporters after the launch of AIDF-1 here, today.
AIDF-1 is Malaysia’s first industrial development fund launched by private equity firm, AREA Management Sdn Bhd.
Shahril views AIDF-1 as part of the EPF’s forward strategy to increase exposure in real assets as part of the retirement fund’s continuing diversification strategy.
He said the logistics industry would be a key growth area for Malaysia and also an area of focus for the EPF for the long term.
Apart from EPF, AREA chairman Datuk Steward LaBrooy said the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and Denmark’s Sparinvest Properties Investors were among the investing partners in AIDF-1, but he declined to disclose the amount injected by the two parties.
He said the fund would only be utilised for industrial development purposes in Malaysia.
LaBrooy said the company’s maiden investment was in the development of an inner-city logistics centre, a high-end warehousing facility in Ampang, Selangor with land size of 6.8 hectares and built up of 1.6 million sq ft of net lettable space. The project is expected to be completed in 2017.
The centre was set to be the largest distribution centre in Malaysia, LaBrooy said.
Following the Ampang project, the company planned to invest in Penang, Perak and Johor, he added.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Lee Chee Leong, said Malaysia was acknowleged internationally as the country with the best infrastructure in Southeast Asia with the exception of Singapore.
“The further growth in the industrial sector and the modernisation of industrial parks will improve the quality of manufactured goods as well as services,” Lee said.