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Shahrir: Sale of London properties good for Felda

 | October 12, 2017

Felda chairman rebuts Rafizi Ramli's claims it would hurt Felda and says 54 parties are interested in buying the Grand Plaza Serviced Apartments.


KUALA LUMPUR: The Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) is putting the Grand Plaza Serviced Apartments in London up for sale as part of its initiative to reorganise and restructure its assets in order to strengthen its financial position.

Its chairman, Shahrir Abdul Samad, said the decision was made following Felda’s agreement to dispose of assets not related to its core operations.

“I am convinced that the sale of this hotel is in line with Felda’s direction to return to its core business and will have a positive impact on Felda’s finances.

“This will also help Felda focus on the management of settlers’ plantations to ensure they get a high income while ensuring their welfare and well-being is protected,” he said in a statement today.

He was commenting on Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli’s claim that Felda would not make a profit from the sale of the property.

Shahrir said that up to now, 54 parties had expressed interest in buying the Grand Plaza Serviced Apartments and that the sale process was in the final stages as Felda looked into the good and reasonable offers.

He also said Rafizi’s claim of a mysterious operating expense of RM80 million was baseless as the main component of the hotel’s administrative expenses was the annual lease payments.

The lease rate is the rental fee paid by FIC Grand Plaza Ltd, a company that manages the business on behalf of its parent company, Felda Investment Corporation (FIC) UK Properties Sdn Bhd (Felda’s investment arm).

He said Felda was a statutory body with its own income and financial resources and had not obtained financing from the federal government since 1996.

“This means that Felda’s operations are not directly tied up to taxpayers or settlers,” he said, rebutting Rafizi’s allegation that the agency could lose millions from the sale of the Grand Plaza Serviced Apartments that was purchased through a loan from the Employees Provident Fund.

On the contrary, Shahrir said, the property was acquired through the listing of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Sdn Bhd in 2012 using Felda’s internal funds. He also said the agency did not incur any interest payment costs.

Shahrir said besides asset restructuring, Felda’s financial restructuring and strengthening measures would result in cost savings and the enhancement of internal capabilities, besides obtaining a federal fund for infrastructure projects in Felda land schemes, as well as restructuring existing loans.

Felda stands to lose RM38mil from London hotel sale, says Rafizi


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