PETALING JAYA: Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) is “closely” studying its investments in property developer Encorp Bhd and technology-based Iris Corp Bhd, after selling its stake in Malayan Banking Bhd, said its chairman.
Tan Sri Shahrir Samad also said Felda would sell its hotel in London and other assets to “stabilise” its cash flow.
He said Iris was a “very good technology company” with value and intellectual property that was unique to Malaysia.
“It is a matter of management and getting the right people on board to do what they are supposed to do.
“We have to look at them (our investments) closely. We cannot make rash decisions (and the) most important thing is to stabilise our cash flow,” said Shahrir on Business FM’s The Breakfast Grille yesterday.
“We hope to repair Iris and get (them) on their feet,” he added.
Felda, through Felda Investment Corp Sdn Bhd, holds a 21.33 per cent stake in Iris. For Encorp, Felda has a 72.27 per cent stake.
Shahrir said Felda had paid “very high” for Encorp shares, which were bought a few years ago.
Felda was now focusing on dividends from Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd and hoping to get some from Encorp as well, he added.
Shahrir said Felda was in the process of selling its hotel in London, which was bought for £98 million (RM543 million) in 2014.
He said the hotel in Bayswater had matured, making it an asset Felda “can dispose of”.
“There has been an appreciation in the London hotel. I think the hotel in Bayswater has matured in the sense that the value is up and we bought it when the British pound was at less than RM5, and now it has risen to RM5.60 per pound.
“But for our hotels in Kota Kinabalu and Kuching, those may take a lot more time to get them on their feet,” said Shahrir.
He reiterated that Felda’s move to buy a 37 per cent stake in Indonesia’s PT Eagle High Plantations Tbk had nothing to do with its restructuring and it was a government investment.
Shahrir said the income of the settlers from their smallholdings went directly to them and the money Felda garnered would not be affected by the Eagle High investment.
He said the decision to park the investment under Felda was because the organisation was an expert in palm oil.
“It is the government’s decision to invest in Eagle High. It has nothing to do with the restructuring of Felda, and the investment will not utilise funds for settlers and our activities.”