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FGV eyeing African market

June 28, 2012

Felda model is a successful social engineering scheme, says group president Sabri Ahmad.

KUALA LUMPUR: Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV), which made its debut on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia at RM5.39 per share today, is eyeing a number of markets in Africa.

“We will implement the Felda model – a successful social engineering scheme – in the continent within one to three years,” its group president, Sabri Ahmad, said after FGV’s listing ceremony today.

The third largest oil palm operator, based on planted hectarage, would participate in nucleus estate development and place more emphasis on processing as well as provide advisory service on planting materials.

“Our Felda model is successful in Malaysia and we have 50 years’ experience. We want to share it with African countries like Cameroon,” he said.

It currently operates about 350,000 hectares of oil palm plantations in Malaysia which produced 5.2 million metric tonnes of fresh fruit bunches last year.

Sabri said FGV, following the successful listing, would focus on how to selectively get into the downstream business including speciality fats and oleochemicals.

“Our downstream business strategy would protect the upstream business and we will remain focused on agribusiness plantation,” he said.

Its downstream business segment currently included producing soyabean and canola products as well as oleochemicals.

He said the opening price at RM5.39, an 84-sen premium over the offer price of RM4.55 per share, was within expectation.

Yesterday, he reassured settlers they would not lose their land following the listing as their land was not part of the initial public offering (IPO) exercise.

FGV was also quite confident of achieving its full-year profit target, he said, adding that plantations contributed over 80% to gross profit last year.

He said the company has already formulated specific plans and strategies to grow business and strengthen upstream to be among the leading players in oil palm, rubber and sugar.

“With the completion of the exercise, we now have to work hard to actualise our promises and emerge as a Malaysian agri-business powerhouse, commensurate with the expectation of our shareholders,” Sabri said.

Its chairman, Mohd Isa Abdul Samad, forecast the second quarter earnings to be better backed by steady crude palm oil price which hovered around RM3,000.

At lunch break, the stock stood at RM5.29.



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