Westports – 2nd Busiest Port in Southeast Asia

November 12, 2020

Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Westports Holdings Berhad (Westports)  in 2019, the Gnanalingams pair of father and son, have much to rejoice about. Executive Chairman of Westports, Tan Sri  Datuk G.Gnanalingam, 76, was pleased to inform shareholders that Westports handled a record 10.9 million TEUs in 2019, which is a growth rate of 14% over the previous year’s volume of 9.5 million TEUs. The volume achieved makes Westports as the first and only port in Malaysia that handles more than 10 million TEUs of container throughput in a year. Westports has transformed Port Klang into the 12th busiest port globally and the 9th best-connected port in the world. Plans are in place to increase Westports’ handling capacity to 30 million TEUs per year. For FY ended 31 December 2019 Westports reported a revenue of RM1.78 billion and profit before tax of RM773.8 million. 

Westports is located in Port Klang and is one of the three main ports in the Straits of Malacca that handles gateway and transhipment container cargo, all of which are located in close proximity to the main shipping route along the Straits of Malacca. It was in 1994 that Tan Sri Gnanalingam had a look at the big stretch of “barren and swampy land” in Port Klang where Westports is today, and he believed that he could transform it into a bustling container port. He was right. He was able to share that foresight with Li Ka Shing’s Hong Kong based CK Hutchison Holdings Limited (formerly Hutchison Whampoa) which took a strategic stake in Westports in 2000. CK Hutchison’s subsidiary, South Port Investment Holdings Limited today is the second largest shareholder in Westports.  

Tan Sri Gnanalingam attended the Royal Military College from 1960 until 1964 before obtaining his Bachelor of Arts Degree from University of Malaya in 1968. He is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School in Boston, US, having attended the School’s Advanced Management Programme in 1983. Tan Sri G as he is popularly known secured the concession to operate Westports in 1994. His eldest son, Datuk Ruben Emir Gnanalingam Bin Abdullah, 44, attended Eton College in the UK (1994-1995) and then graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) Degree in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK in 1998. He was appointed to the Board of Westports in July 2005 and was Executive Director in 2006 before taking on the CEO position in 2009. In January 2018 he was redesignated as Group Managing Director.  

Substantial Shareholders 

As at 28 February 2020 the major shareholder of Westports Holdings Berhad is the family owned company of Tan Sri Gnanalingam, Pembinaan Redzai Sdn Bhd which has a stake of 42.2% of the issued shares of the company. Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka shing’s CK Hutchison Holdings Limited’s subsidiary, South Port Investment Holdings Limited holds a strategic stake of 23.55% while the Employees Provident Fund Board has a 5.49% stake.

Read more 

  1. Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited. Cheung Kong and Hutchison to create two new leading Hong Kong listed companies through a business combination, reorganisation and spin-off: - CK Hutchison Holdings Limited (“CKH Holdings”) holding all the non-property businesses of both Groups, and - Cheung Kong Property Holdings Limited (“CK Property”) holding the property businesses of both Groups. https://www.ckh.com.hk/upload/attachments/en/pr/p150109.pdf 
  2. Hutchison Port Holdings Limited. Press Release. 4 October 2020. https://newsnreleases.com/2020/10/04/hutchison-port-holdings-limited-hph/ 
  3. Westports Holdings Berhad. About us. Who we are. Chairman’s message. Group Performance Highlights. Annual Report 2019. https://www.westportsholdings.com/about-us/. See also https://disclosure.bursamalaysia.com/FileAccess/apbursaweb/download?id=199141&name=EA_DS_ATTACHMENTS 
  4. Westports 2Q 2020 Press Release. 24 July 2020. Financial results announcement.  WESTPORTS HANDLED CONTAINER VOLUME OF 4.8 MILLION TWENTY-FOOT EQUIVALENT UNITS (“TEUS”) IN 6-MONTH OF 2020. https://www.westportsholdings.com/financial-results-announcement-westports-handled-container-volume-of-4-8-million-twenty-foot-equivalent-units-teus-in-6-month-of-2020/