Monday, 17 September 2012

Blast from the Past: CLOB (2)

From The Straits Times, an article by Anita Gabriel:

Tycoon who made Clob investors a daring offer

Before 1999, few had heard of reclusive tycoon Akbar Khan, a Singaporean businessman based in Kuala Lumpur.

But not many could forget him once he emerged on the scene back then with a plan to free up frozen Clob shares.

Mr Khan and his nephew, Mr Mohamed Moiz Ali Moiz - another name etched in the memory of former Clob investors - have been making some big corporate moves in recent months.

Mr Khan's private vehicle Ambang Sehati - also owned by his two children and Mr Moiz - recently launched a RM 1.5 billion takeover offer for Bandaraya Development (BRDB), a listed flagship property firm in Malaysia where they are the majority shareholder.

BRDB is mostly involved in the high-end luxury residential market. Ambang Sehati acquired BRDB in 2001 following a restructuring of Multi-Purpose Holdings, which was a Clob darling that was popular with Singapore investors in the 1990's.

Mr Khan, a chartered accountant by training who is widely perceived to be close to Malaysia's former finance minister Daim Zainuddin, continues to keep a low profile.

In 1999, his Effective Capital - where Mr Moiz was chief executive - enraged Singaporeans when it first swooped in with a cash offer to buy all the Clob shares at half their last traded price.

(Note MAW: the last traded price was already very depressed, this all happened in the midst of the Asian crisis)

Matched by somewhat palatable offers made by other parties, he would tweak his offer several times later.

His final plan to migrate the shares back to their rightful shareholders on a staggered basis at a fee of 1.5 per cent eventually pulled through, reportedly netting the company Effective Capital a cool RM 80 million.

The fee was hard to swallow for the stricken investors who had suffered great losses.


  1. Dear M.A. Wind,

    Thanks for the historical lessons. Speaking of historical lessons, do you happen to have any books or information of past scandals and crisis on stock markets in Malaysia and Singapore? More specifically:

    1. The Carrian Saga
    I know the ICAC website has some stuff but it's not really detailed enough to get a good picture.

    2. Pan-El Crisis
    There's a great MAS staff paper on this but are there any other books or online resources.

    3. The stock market crisis of 1973, 1987 etc.
    There's really a lack of information on these earlier stock market crashes vs. those in recent memory like 1997.

    I would appreciate if you could share any information/knowledge that you have.


  2. Hi Avatar,

    I have the book from Dr. Neoh, from Dynaquest:

    That is a pretty old book and there is some content about these issues.

    This site from DanielXX gives quite a few scandals, but unfortunately is not active anymore:

    Yes, it is hard to find anything, and the authorities are not much of a help. Universities should focus some research on these issues.

    Myself I am the most interested in 1997/98, I lived through it (survived by being zero per cent leveraged), that was really a weired time, stockmarket going down every single week in a row, for many, many months in a row. Good quality stocks going for a PE of 2.

  3. Hi M.A. Wind,

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I was just a young turk during 1997/98 so the focus was just trying to get a job...

    Any books you recommend for the 1997/98 crisis since it's your specialty?

    As for the older crisis (1970's and 80's), apart from Dr. Neo's book (which I think is arguably the best stock market book from Malaysia), you could check these 2 books out if you're interested:
    (I was asking in case there were any gems I might have missed out)

    1. The Making of Malaysia Inc (Ranjit Gill)
    2. Economic Crises in Malaysia (Samuel Bassey/Cheng)

    Both are still available for order through Pelanduk

  4. Thanks, both books do sound interesting, will order them.

  5. No problems. Hope you enjoy them :)

    Oh if there's any good books or resources on the 1997/98 crisis, please do share. I know Andrew Sheng's book is pretty interesting. Not too sure about any others, though.

  6. The best coverage of Carrian / Bank Bumi at the time was from the Asian Wall Street Journal - superb investigative journalism by Matt Miller and Raphael Pura. If anyone knows which regional libraries have copies from the relevant years, please let us know.

    Meanwhile I just noticed this more recent comment by Matt Miller, referring briefly to those years and to the attitude of participants:

  7. Thanks, agree, another interesting case.

  8. Thanks Anonymous. Mat Miller was supposed to come out with a book in 1985 after Philip Bowring's book "The Carrian Files". Any idea what happened to it?

    Apparently there's also "Carrian: Robed Men of Justice" by Hector Lee, CD only. Unfortunately, there's no trace of it anywhere on the internet. Again, if anyone can locate a copy, please do share :)

  9. Thanks Avatar. "The Carrian Files", Philip Bowring and Robert Cottrell, is listed here & also seems hard to find:

    - but the reference led me to this update by Philip Bowring [in Dec 2001? page last modified Feb 2002] on the unsatisfactory legal followup to the case:

  10. Great links. Unfortunately, quite a lot of references and books on Carrian are very hard to find. There's almost nothing available on-line. One last place to look for is Google News. In their archive section on New Straits Times, there's some good information there. Not too sure about other newspapers though.

    As to AWSJ, I really need to check out some libraries in KL to see whether they have the 1980s issues... and photocopy those articles by Mat Miller