Priority for settlers in FGVH share listing: Najib

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Kuala Lumpur: Felda settlers will definitely get priority in the listing of Felda Global Ventures Holdings (FGVH) when over 70 per cent of the retail shares offered for public listing are allocated for the settlers, Felda staff and individuals who have contributed to the organisation.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when launching the FGVH prospectus here today, in conjunction with the listing of the plantation giant, announced that out of the 255,371,000 retail shares offered, 182,408,000 were allocated for this group while the other 72,963,000 shares were for public investment.

Hence, Najib said, the claims by irresponsible quarters that the government would be manipulating Felda settlers by listing FGVH was not true and baseless.

"I wish to reiterate that what we are doing is upholding the trust left by my father, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein. "As the minister responsible for Felda, I and my friends promise that we will never allow harm to befall not only the Felda community, but also future generations and the nation. We will continue to struggle for Felda as an institution that is a symbol of the success of the Malaysian people.

FGVH shares are expected to be listed on the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia on this June 28.

Najib said the FGVH listing recorded two historic moments not only for Felda but also for the nation, as the listing would be the biggest in Asia this year and the initial public offering (IPO), the second biggest in the world this year, after Facebook.

The prime minister said he was also proud as the move at listing had gained extraordinary acceptance and now Felda was facing a new problem - satisfying all parties applying for the FVGH shares.

"Although people say it is a nice problem to have, it is a problem of success, but we need to make the best and fairest decision possible."

Najib said the listing would also propel FGVH as a company of international standard as it had attracted the interest of two major commodity companies in Europe, namely Louis Dreyfus Commodities Asia and Vitol Group, to be FGVH's strategic partners.

He said FGVH was in a good state to use its position as the world's third biggest palm oil trader through its 49 per cent share equity in Felda Holdings Bhd to grow further.

Najib said besides Felda and the settlers, the FGVH listing would also benefit Malaysians at large because organisations like the Employees Provident Fund, Permodalan Nasional Bhd, Tabung Haji and Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT) would own FGVH shares too.

He therefore hoped that the Felda settlers would continue to have confidence in the FGVH listing and continue investing and keep their shares for the long term.

"Remember, if we are patient and we persevere, InsyaAllah, God will give us more 'rezeki' (good fortune). Today's settlers are earning middle income and enjoying the facilities provided. I believe their share ownership will help increase their income," he said.

At the event, Najib also announced that the second round of the windfall payment of RM5,000 for the wife of each Felda settler would be made on July 7 in conjunction with Settlers Day and official opening of Menara Felda.

Early this month, the prime minister announced a windfall of RM15,000 for each settler family and to be distributed in three phases.

The first payment of RM5,000 each for the household head has been given out, the next payment of also RM5,000 is for the wife and the other RM5,000, for their children. -- Bernama


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