Zakaria to wait a little longer for FGV's inquiry outcome

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Zakaria Arshad, group president and chief executive officer of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV), will have to wait a while longer for the outcome of the domestic inquiry involving him.

Newly-appointed chairperson Azhar Abdul Hamid said the board of inquiry is still in the midst of final deliberations and conclusion.

The board needed to ensure everything was properly done before a decision was made, he told Bernama.

Asked about the possibility of Zakaria coming back to the company, Azhar replied: "It will not be fair for me to comment on that now."

He said he hoped to call for a media conference on the domestic inquiry soon and also in respect of other FGV matters.

Meanwhile, the plantation company seems to be surrounded by positive vibes with its share price improving, following Azhar’s appointment as chairperson.

Azhar, who once served as acting president and chief executive of another plantation giant, Sime Darby Bhd, said he was passionate about the industry and hoped to turn around the company.

In a filing to Bursa Malaysia, FGV said Azhar's appointment as the new chairperson was recommended by the plantation firm's nomination and remuneration committee, which was subsequently approved by the board of directors yesterday.

He was also chairperson of the Malaysian Palm Oil Association between 2007 and 2010.

In addition, talk of Zakaria returning to FGV is another factor seemingly contributing to the higher share price.

In June, Zakaria, group chief financial officer Ahmad Tifli Mohd Talha and two other senior management officials were told to take a leave of absence pending the domestic investigation on purported wrongdoings in business dealings between its subsidiary, Delima Oil Products Sdn Bhd, and long-term business partner, Afghan-based Safitex Trading LLC.

As for acting chairperson Dr Sulaiman Mahbob, FGV said he had been re-designated as an independent and non-executive director with immediate effect.

On Bursa Malaysia today, FGV tested a high of RM1.77 before closing at RM1.74 with 16.82 million shares transacted. The counter ended at RM1.71 yesterday.

- Bernama

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