Shahrir: Felda puts London property up for sales

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

Its Chairperson, Shahrir Abdul Samad said the decision was made following Felda's decision to dispose of assets that were 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 to focus on settlers’ plantation management to ensure that they get a high income while ensuring their welfare and well-being are protected," he said in a statement today.

He was commenting on member of parliament for Pandan, 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 the sales process is in the final stages where Felda needs to look into good and reasonable offers.

On Rafizi's claim of a mysterious operating expense of RM80 million, he said the allegation was baseless as the main component of the hotel's administrative expenses was the annual lease payments.

The lease rate is the rental fee that needed to be 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 is a statutory body with its own income and financial resources without obtaining 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 and the purchase was made through a loan from the Employees Provident Fund.

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

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

Meanwhile, in Malacca, Shahrir said he was confident of the ability of Felda Global Venture Bhd (FGV) president and chief executive officer Zakaria Arshad resuming his duties on Monday.

He said Zakaria and FGV Chairperson Azhar Abdul Hamid were able to team up to steer the Felda subsidiary to become a competitive business entity.

"I am confident that the duo will be able to take FGV to greater heights. FGV is like a ‘child’, while Felda like ‘a father’ will certainly entrust this entity to grow and succeed in business for Felda’s advancement," he said.

Zakaria was given leave of absence in June pending a probe of certain deals under Delima Oil Products Sdn Bhd, which is a subsidiary of FGV.

- Bernama

 

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