PLUS marks 2005 with Asia's first equity placement

Government agency Socso raises $123 million from divestment in toll road operator.

Malaysia's social security office Socso sold 170 million shares in PLUS Expressways yesterday January 10 in a placement led by CIMB and Credit Suisse First Boston. The deal was timed to take advantage of a potential spike in the company's share price following news that the government has endorsed its scheduled 10% toll rate hike.

Specialists also report that Socso needed to offload some of its PLUS stake for diversification purposes as it was too heavily weighted in the stock. As a result of the sale, equating to 3.4% of the company's issued share capital, Socso has a 1.2% stake remaining.

The deal was completed against a...

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