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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Uber confirms investment by KWAP

KWAP CEO Datuk Wan Kamaruzaman
KUALA LUMPUR - Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) has chosen Uber Technologies Inc as its first-ever foreign direct investment, the ride-sharing firm announced today.

This confirms reports yesterday that the civil service pension fund was planning to invest US$30 million into Uber as part of its foray abroad.

“We are excited to make Uber our first direct investment in a foreign company. This is part of our efforts to become a diversified global investor,” KWAP chief executive officer Datuk Wan Kamaruzaman Wan Ahmad said in the statement issued by Uber.

“Uber is an exciting company that is changing the way the world moves, and we believe ridesharing has huge potential to transform the future of mobility.”

The statement did not specify if the investment amount was the US$30 million previously reported.

The popular ride-sharing service has grown phenomenally since its introduction both here and globally, but continues to face — at times violent — resistance from the traditional taxi industry due to what the latter alleges to be unfair competition.

Despite the complaints, the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) is embarking on an exercise to incorporate Uber and rival Grab into an industry-wide revamp of local taxi services.

This is the second major investment in Uber by a government-linked entity. Sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional also bought equity in the firm as far back as 2014, albeit indirectly.

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