Malaysia names new Petronas chief

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak said Shamsul Azhar Abbas was appointed president and chief executive of the state-owned Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), replacing Hassan Marican.

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 5 – Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak said Shamsul Azhar Abbas was appointed president and chief executive of the state-owned Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), replacing Hassan Marican.

Abbas served as president and chief executive of Petronas’ shipping unit MISC Bhd. during 2004-09. Abbas also held senior positions in Petronas’ chemical, oil exploration, and production divisions as well as in its logistics and maritime businesses.

Analyst IHS Global Insight said that Abbas inherits a number of problems, not least, “growing pressure from the Malaysian central government to utilize Petronas' revenue to help plug the biggest budget deficit in over 20 years, which in 2009 came in at 7.4% of GDP.”

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com

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