June 29, 2018 / 10:37 AM / 10 months ago

REFILE-UPDATE1-Malaysia's PNB appoints former central bank governor as chairman

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 (Reuters) - Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) on Friday named former central bank governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz its new group chairman, as part of the latest management shakeup of state-owned enterprises by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s new government.

Zeti’s appointment takes effect on Sunday, a day after outgoing group chairman Abdul Wahid Omar officially retires.

PNB, Malaysia’s largest fund management firm, said in a statement that it has confidence that Zeti “will continue to provide strong leadership” in delivering on its mandate of enhancing corporate wealth for the benefit of Malaysians.

Zeti had led the central bank for 16 years before retiring in 2016. Last month, she was appointed in a council that was tasked with advising the government on economic and financial matters.

Mahathir’s coalition, which took over power in a historic general election in May when voters booted out former Prime Minister Najib Razak’s long-ruling party, has launched a purge of top civil servants and top executives at state-owned firms seen close to the previous administration.

Wahid, who took the top job at PNB in August 2016 after a stint in the office of then-Prime Minister Najib Razak, is seen to be the latest casualty.

Earlier this month, the central bank governor and the executive director of national telecommunications firm Telekom Malaysia both resigned, in what appeared to be a push by Mahathir’s government to promote better governance and end decades of patronage politics. (Reporting by Joseph Sipalan; Editing by Nick Macfie and Vyas Mohan)

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