Thursday, December 21, 2017

Plantation corporate news: More headlines for Felda-FGV. Land deals questioned. Felda settler incentives and debt question.

Editor's note: Corporate news update for end April to mid July and early Sep to end Dec 2016 are available on customised; likewise for 2017 news. Updates here are on selected news only.

22 Dec 2017: More headlines for Felda-FGV. Land deals questioned.

Editor's note: Readers asked for follow-up on what transpired. There's been a lot of circulation of the recent land deals question in social media.

On corporate issues

Felda could lose RM200m Jalan Semarak land following 'dubious deal' By CHE WAN BADRUL ALIAS - December 21, 2017\

More dodgy land transfers for Felda, says report, 21 Dec 2017


  • Najib cannot wash his hands of Felda land scandal, says settlers’ group  24 Dec 2017 -- Mazlan said those involved in the Jalan Semarak land sale were still part of the Felda board of directors.
  • Deputy minister urges talks with company in shady Felda land deal  24 Dec 2017 -- The company had sold the land to itself for RM270 million and Felda did not receive a sen... Shahrir said Synergy Promenade was given the power of attorney on September 2, 2014 to develop the land on behalf of Felda Investment Corporation, a subsidiary of Felda. The Felda board of directors were only informed of the development  months later so that it they give backdated approval...
  • Felda scandal being used to divert attention from 1MDB, says Isa Samad’s former aide by Amin Iskandar 25 Dec 2017 -- "I am 100% sure that Isa Samad will be charged before GE14. It's to take away attention from issues like 1MDB, SRC and the money going into the prime minister’s accounts  ,” Zahid told The Malaysian Insight.   “Isa’s arrest is very important to Umno, Najib and Barisan Nasional as it will make people forget about the GST (goods and services tax), the scandals at Mara, Felcra, the Youth and Sports Ministry and the Johor exco,” said Zahid, who is now with opposition party Bersatu.

Newsbreak: FGV investigating overpriced Asian Plantations purchase, The Edge Malaysia December 18, 2017

FGV appoints Salmiah, Mohamed Nazeeb as directors  31 October 2017

Zakaria to resume duties as FGV CEO on Oct 16 By NST Business - October 9, 2017

MACC wrapping up probe on FGV’s ex-chairman Isa Samad September 12, 2017

Two FGV directors to remain despite stating wish to resign — Sulaiman by Sulhi Azman July 13, 2017

The rise and spectacular fall of Isa 25 Jun 2017 by joceline tan

Group calls for revamp of FGV’s board of directors June 24, 2017

On Felda settler incentives

Putrajaya, where’s the money, ask Felda settlers by Sheridan Mahavera  20 Sep 2017

Incentives prove govt's commitment to help Felda settlers 2 August 2017

Najib announces six incentives for Felda settlers 23 Jul 2017

Najib: Each Felda settler to get RM5,000 cash incentive 23 Jul 2017 Read more at

Najib hands out $510m to his Felda Malay vote bank JUL 24, 2017

Incentives futile as settlers’ debt too high, says association FMT Reporters | July 25, 2017

Najib’s RM1.6b wooing of Felda settlers wrong 25 Jul 2017

On Felda settler debts

Only 20 years to pay off debt, Felda tells settlers by Zulkifli Sulong, Diyana Ibrahim, Asila Jalil  25 Nov 2017

Felda settlers saddled with debts while replanting, says group  7 Aug 2017

Felda settlers deny being heavily in debt Bernama | July 23, 2017

Felda settlers owe almost RM5b in various debts  3 Apr 2017

Rafizi: Felda taking on debt to pay bonus to settlers 5 Jan 2017

23 Jun 2017: Najib administration sticks Ramadan deadline on FGV tussle - CEO has until noon to reply to show-cause letter; Isa voluntarily steps down and promoted to Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD)

Editor's note: The first day of Eid is on Sunday

Zakaria has till noon today to reply to FGV’s show-cause letter by Adam Aziz/The Edge Financial Daily June 23, 2017 --  Instead of the 40 more days he asked for, suspended president and chief executive officer of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) Datuk Zakaria Arshad has only three more days to reply to a show-cause letter regarding alleged procedural improprieties at a subsidiary of the plantation group....

Govt confirms Sulaiman to head FGV, Isa to lead SPAD 19 June 2017 - The Government has confirmed that Tan Sri Sulaiman Mahbob will be acting chairman of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) with immediate effect from Monday while Tan Sri Isa Samad will be acting chairman of the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD)...

13 Jun 2017: Escalating headlines on FGV - can this be resolved by the end of Ramadhan?

Editor's note: Issues at key plantation Malaysia GLC/SOE seen in escalating headlines on likely expanded investigation by SPRM (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission,, is on a rising trend with investigations; akin to but still in catch-up to the perceived independence of Indonesia's KPK - now in a tussle with Indonesia's Parliament). Although PM Najib appointed Idris Jala as independent reviewer, corporate observers immediately questioned his locus standi in relation to problems at a public-listed entity (see social media snapshot below; and this was acknowledged by PM Najib's key principles to resolving the crisis in Bernama report). KL observers will be eyeing the headlines at key UMNO-linked media (New Straits Times/NST and especially Malay language Utusan Melayu), and pro-Najib administration bloggers such as Raja Petra's Malaysia Today. Experts say to watch out for the breadth of investigations and concerns of how this affects FGV's Isa political positioning in the run-up to General Elections (a narrower investigation could trigger shifts, but a broader investigation may not meed PM Najib's hopes for the investigation to end by the end of the Ramadan month). Felda voters are the bulwark for UMNO-BN.

Source: Recent social media notes on editorial by The Edge Malaysia; with issues of legality and corporate governance also reflected here: "Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak outlined three key principles to resolve the crisis of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) and wants the issue resolved in the month of Ramadan as well... "First, it (the investigation) must comply with company law. Second, it must be consistent with good governance and thirdly, the investigation process must go through a fair process," ... According to Najib, the appointment of former Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala as an independent party to tackle the crisis hit FGV, is guided by three principles.... For now, he said, he was still negotiating with Felda chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad to determine the future of FGV..." in Najib Garis Tiga Prinsip Selesaikan Kemelut FGV, Mahu Isu Diselesai Segera, KULAI, 10 Jun (Bernama) 

Source: NST front page, 13 June 2017

2 groups join calls urging FGV’s Isa to resign by Amin Iskandar Updated 30 minutes ago · Published on 13 Jun 2017 2:56PM FELDA Global Venture Holdings Bhd (FGV) chairman Isa Samad is facing more calls to resign the post amid an ongoing anti-graft investigation. Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Felda task force and Pertubuhan Peneroka Rakyat Malaysia (PPRM) today handed a memorandum to Isa, asking him to quit. “FGV has lost around RM13.4 billion since 2012 and Isa should resign for failing to manage FGV and Felda properly,” said Bersatu’s Felda task force chairman Wan Mohd Shahrir Wan Abdul Jalil.

Felda chairman to discuss FGV saga with PM tomorrow Updated about 5 hours ago · Published on 13 Jun 2017 10:41AM

Isa Samad juga akan dipanggil, Bagi memberi penjelasan kepada SPRM tentang kemelut FGV by Maszureen Hadzman 11 Jun 2017 3:00 AM  Artikel Penuh:
© Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd

FGV: Lebih 50 individu akan dipanggil SPRM, Bantu siasatan melibatkan pengurusan tertinggi by Nazwin Nazri 13 Jun 2017 3:00 AM Artikel Penuh: © Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd,

Raja Petra Kamarudin –; various articles on FGV, e.g.

11 Jun 2017: Felda settlers - much to be grateful for 

Felda Sayong settlers still with Umno, FGV mess or not by Muzliza Mustafa 11 Jun 2017 11:00AM
And despite the issues surrounding FGV, the settlers The Malaysian Insight spoke to last night at Felda Sayong had this to say – they were grateful to Umno for all that they have done. "I paid RM1 and I got 10 acres of land nearly 40 years ago. The earning I receive I get to feed my eight children. If not for Umno I will not be having any of this," she said. The single mother from Felda Simpang Waha was among thousands of settlers who had attended the breaking fast event with Najib at Felda Sayong last night....

9 June 2017: FGV tussles - anti-corruption agency grabs files back to 2013, first-class flights, 'invisible hands' in procurement, Felda and the upcoming General Election etc.

Editor's note: NSTP carries negative headlines on Isa, but this is not present in Utusan Malaysia news headlines so far. Minor point, that ineligible family travel flights got a top executive dismissed at Malaysia Airlines (another Malaysia GLC/SOE). 

More witnesses, individuals to be questioned in FGV probe: MACC By FAIRUZ MOHD SHAHAR - June 9, 2017, One of MACC’s focus areas was on alleged abuse of power by the top official who had allowed FGV to foot his wife’s travels on first-class flights although she was not entitled to such benefits...

FGV tussle: MACC expected to probe six areas-- By ALIZA SHAH AND TASNIM LOKMAN - June 9, 2017 @ 11:38am KUALA LUMPUR: GRAFTBUSTERS looking into possible misconduct and abuse of power in Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) are expected to probe into at least six areas that would warrant their attention. Sources from the government-linked company told the New Straits Times that it was clear at the end of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) eight-hour search in Menara Felda what the officers came for. The graftbusters, they said, took with them papers that would shed light on several “clearly contentious” issues, which the sources said were linked to, among others, one of FGV’s top officials. The documents, the NST was told, included those dating back to 2013.

'Stop appointing politicians to GLC posts' By ALIZA SHAH - June 9, 2017

Settlers group wants Isa to resign By NST - June 8, 2017

Isa should have resigned 'a long time ago', says Muhyiddin on FGV tussle By ARFA YUNUS - June 8, 2017

Government starts independent probe on FGV By TASNIM LOKMAN - June 8, 2017

What FGV needs is full audit probe, not Idris Jala by  Tony Pua, 9 Jun 2017

FGV tussle: Zakaria to get showcause letter once internal probe completed, says Isa By TASNIM LOKMAN - June 8, 2017

Zakaria: FGV’s board, too, should be accountable by Adam Aziz / The Edge Financial Daily June 07, 2017 -- Zakaria also said that he had not seen the irregularities found by FGV’s auditor PwC. “I haven’t seen PwC’s report [why I am implicated]. What are the specifics?” he said.
“As far as I know, PwC conducted a normal audit for the first quarter of 2017. We at the board meeting then unanimously agreed to look into a few irregularities in the audit report, which is a normal process. “But the subsequent meetings, [there were] three of them, were done without me being present,” he added. He said that Felda, as the largest shareholder of FGV, had requested for the matter to be managed within the business operations units of the company, and not the current corporate level. “I did not invite the press, nor did I leak my letter [to Isa] as people claimed I did. Now that the word is out, Felda is very concerned as it has affected FGV’s share price significantly,” he said....   Earlier, Zakaria told the media that any investigation in FGV should concentrate on the company’s procurement body. “On paper, our procurements may look great. But try to see beyond that, beyond the approvals. “Not all of the company’s procurements and purchases go through me. There are different levels [involved]. You have to also look at people who play the smaller roles … not forgetting certain ‘invisible hands’,” he said....The investigation is another blow to FGV, which is rife with allegations of poor management decisions. With the general election round the corner, FGV will need to provide a clearer picture soon lest the issue unsettles its biggest shareholder, who should be scrutinising its every move.

'Siapa undi Najib, dapat banyak' ('Who votes Najib, can get a lot') by Sinar TV  Published on 8 Jun 2017 Pengerusi Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (FGV), Tan Sri Isa Samad berjenaka, siapa yang tetap menyokong kepimpinan Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak mungkin boleh menikmati keuntungan FGV pada masa depan.

Zakaria is giving a good fight, expect more dirt to be revealed by Yoursay Published 8 Jun 2017 Read more:

6 June 2017: FGV CEO won't comply with chairman request to resign 

Editor's note: Adds to confusing earlier news swirling on FGV potential tie-ups with the likes of COFCO, Martua Sitorus and others; having already been linked to Eagle High at a group level. Various graft investigations on sturgeon and other deals. A journalist allegedly bribed by a former CEO on 30 May and charged within a week on 5 Jun.

Felda CEO won't comply with chairman request to resign - letter.  Reuters |  Published on June 06, 2017 -- A spokesman for Felda Global, the world's third largest palm plantation operator, said that the board had asked for Zakaria to take a leave of absence effective immediately. In the letter, dated June 5, Zakaria said he had been accused of wrongdoing in payments to a Afghan company that Felda Global had done business with. "The chairman has asked that I resign as president and FGV group chief executive due to accusations that I have violated corporate governance code," he said in the letter. "The payment process... was approved and implemented by the previous chief executive... I am not guilty of those accusations and will not resign as instructed."..

Suspended FGV CEO says he tried to stop 'ridiculous' investments 6 Jun 2017, 5:37 pm -- Amongst the investments, he said, was plans for a 100 million pound sterling (approximately RM551 million) expansion of Felda Cambridge Nanosystems Ltd, a nano carbon company, which had already lost RM117 million in the last three to four years. "Now they (the FGV board) want to expand, they need another 100 million pounds. To me this is ridiculous, we're a plantation company," he was quoted as saying by The Star. Another investment, Zakaria said, was the plan to spend RM300 million to acquire a 30 percent stake in a creamer factory, owned by a company primarily involved in making cans...

MACC prepared to probe FGV for graft - Azam Baki June 06, 2017

FGV suspends group president and CFO 6 June 2017 --

Isa threatens to sue reporter over 'abuse of power' poser by Anne Muhammad  6 Jun 2017, 4:44 pm

The Star employee charged with receiving bribes from FGVH CEO 5 Jun 2017 -- An employee of The Star newspaper was charged in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court this morning with receiving RM20,000 in bribes. M Youganesparan was accused of receiving the money from former Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGVH) chief executive officer Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah at The Intermark Hotel, Jalan Tun Razak about 9.15pm on May 30 this year.

Felda Global chairman says parent firm not involved in suspension of CEO Reuters |  Published on June 06, 2017

Shahrir hampa 'suara' FELDA dipinggirkan SELASA, 6 JUN 2017 - 9:38AM


Sturgeon-farming project: How Felda 5 beat the system By ALIZA SHAH - January 26, 2017

Felda firm's ex-CEO, director charged with CBT 2 Aug 2013

Indonesian Palm Oil's Stranded Assets: 10 Million Football Fields Feb. 15 2017, Gabriel Thoumi, Chain Reaction Research, - Four detailed case studies presented: Noble Group, Eagle High Plantations, Provident Agro and Tadmax.

Upcoming financial results, deforestation charge weigh on FGV 27 May 2017 Read more at

24 April 2017: Olam Gabon opens 90 tonne palm oil mill at Mouila

Gabon : Olam ouvre sa plus grande usine d’huile de palme sur le continent 13 avril 2017 Par Jeune Afrique avec AFP -- Régulièrement accusé de favoriser la déforestation, le géant singapourien de l'agro-alimentaire Olam a annoncé avoir ouvert le mardi 11 avril au Gabon sa plus grande usine d'huile de palme en Afrique. « D’une superficie de 17 hectares, l’usine permettra de traiter 90 tonnes métriques de régimes de palmier par heure et de produire 138 700 tonnes métriques d’huile de palme par an », détaille un communiqué de la multinationale singapourienne.

Ali Bongo a inauguré l’Usine d’huile de palme d’Olam à Mouila

Gabon context:
  • Olam and Mighty Earth agree to collaborate on Forest Conservation and Sustainable Agriculture in Highly Forested Countries Washington D.C., February 21, 2017
  • Olam to pause land clearing in Gabon in truce with Mighty Earth February 22, 2017 by ANDREA SOH
  • Gabon court upholds Ali Bongo election win 24 September 2016 -- President Bongo won August's election by just 6,000 votes but the opposition says the poll was rigged. Following the court ruling, President Bongo called for a "political dialogue" with the opposition.
  • Olam Pushes Farms in Africa Oil Producer to Stem Income Fall by Pauline Bax July 6, 2016
  • Gabon aims to cut yawning poverty gap by ending its dependency on oil -- With a third of its citizens below the poverty line, the African country urgently needs to diversify and is banking on palm oil production to create rural jobs -- Ruth Maclean in Libreville Tuesday 16 August 2016
  • Gabon Trying to get past oil, One African country’s struggle to diversify Aug 6th 2016
  • Gabon looks to Asia to diversify economy By AFP 26 August 2016 -- Since coming to power in 2009 after the death of his long-ruling father Omar Bongo, the president has courted Asian investment to the point that former colonial power investor France has been somewhat sidelined as a favoured investor.

11 Mar 2017: Indonesia concession maps win for NGO, Wilmar-Amnesty, FGV closes 4 mills and a refinery,  illegal plantations

Indonesian Supreme Court orders Jokowi administration to hand over palm oil permit data - 10 March 2017 / Philip Jacobson -- Forest Watch Indonesia has been trying to force the Ministry of Land and Spatial Planning to release in full the maps of oil palm companies' concessions, known as HGUs. The Supreme Court's decision hands the NGO a victory in its freedom of information request, launched in 2015.. Once it receives the hard copies of the documents, FWI will scan and upload them on its website.. Forest Watch Indonesia, an NGO, has won its freedom of information request.

Palm Oil Giant Denies Covering up Labor Abuses in Indonesia By : Beh Lih Yi | March 08, 2017 -- Amnesty said in a statement on Tuesday that Wilmar — the world's largest palm oil processor — had asked its workers to sign a document to deny the investigation findings during a recent meeting with trade union representatives. Wilmar rejected the claim and said the union representatives had "voluntarily" signed the letters as "a show of support" to the company.

FGV earnings down, closing 4 palm oil mills, 2 rubber factories, 1refinery BY AFIQ ISA 1 March 2017 Read more at

National park fights back against illegal plantations by Apriadi Gunawan The Jakarta Post

10 Feb 2017: Indonesia wins cases against companies but none have paid fines or compensation, FGV, Sime Darby and other news

FGV: KPF share sale a non-issue BY AFIQ ISA 9 February 2017 Read more at

Malaysia's Sime Darby to Spin off Plantation, Property Businesses By : Emily Chow | on 9:00 AM January 27, 2017

CB Industrial group files RM8.4mil claim against TDM subsidiary BY M. HAFIDZ MAHPAR 9 February 2017 Read more at

Indonesia - Government wins in forest fire case by Hans Nicholas Jong The Jakarta Post Jakarta | Thu, February 9, 2017 -- In the fight against deforestation and forest fires, the Environment and Forestry Ministry is on a winning streak, with the courts ruling in favor of the government in cases against companies. Still, the enforcing of penalties remains weak.... In its latest victory, the South Jakarta District Court found palm oil company PT Waringin Agro Jaya (WAJ) guilty on Tuesday of illegally starting a forest fire to clear land in Ogan Komering Ilir, South Sumatra. The court ordered the company to pay Rp 466.5 billion (US$35 million), Rp 173.5 billion of which will serve as compensation for the burning of 1,626 hectares of land in its land concession and another Rp 293 billion to cover the rehabilitation cost for the burned land. The fine was lower than the ministry’s demand of Rp 754 billion.... However, none of the companies have paid the fines or compensation. The ministry’s law enforcement director general, Rasio Ridho Sani, acknowledged that it was a challenge for the ministry to enforce verdicts. It takes time for verdicts to be enforced because the ministry has to wait for the official record of the verdict to be available, which can take months to more than a year. Moreover, there is no standard operating procedure for the enforcement of forest-related rulings. The ministry is pushing for the Supreme Court to issue a regulation on its judges to help with the enforcement of penalties....

4 Jan 2017, 31 Dec 2016: Felda-Eagle High Plantations deal in the news

Editor's note:  300,000ha of planned new plantings is reported. By regulation planting should start within 3 years as land bank only can be kept for 3 years, and after 3 years it will be given back to the government. This rule is regarded as better implemented than before, but it may not be as strict as we think, so long as there is progress to show.

Feature story in The Edge Malaysia weekly, 3 Jan 2017 issue
While Eagle High's planted area is 125,000ha, its total land bank is more than 400,000ha. Even though the US$505.4 million price takes into account only the 125,000ha that are already planted, the green light has already been given for the planting of some 300,000ha....; mentions PT EAGLE HIGH PLANTATIONS TBK

EPF not to be blamed for leaving FGV BY M. SHANMUGAM  3 January 2017

FAQ: The Felda - Eagle High Plantation deal 25 DECEMBER 2016 Read More :

Strategi Besar FGV Pasca Pembelian Saham 37% Eagle High Plantation 26 Dec 2016 by  Qayuum Amri -- Post this acquisition, FGV will have access to manage 287 thousand hectares of land ...

Felda says 'no' financial burden from US$505m Eagle High stake buy By Chong Jin Hun /   | December 31, 2016

Felda secures Malaysian govt financing for Eagle High stake purchase  Dec 28, 2016

FGV continues dip after Felda's US$505.4m Eagle High buy By Sangeetha Amarthalingam /   | December 29, 2016 On Dec 23, FIC Properties Sdn Bhd (FICP) inked a sale and purchase agreement with PT Rajawali Corp to acquire a 37% stake in Indonesia-listed Eagle High for US$505.4 million (RM2.26 billion).... Initially, FGV was to purchase the stake but talks ended following the advice by its bankers, JPMorgan and Bank of America, to opt out of the deal as the then US$680 million price tag was seen as too high for the 37% Eagle High stake.... The latest acquisition by FICP has stirred analysts and critics who claim that the deal was too expensive and would not derive synergy as Felda does not have a controlling stake in Eagle High.

Felda secures Malaysian govt financing for Eagle High stake purchase By Reuters / Reuters   | December 29, 2016

No synergy seen in Felda’s Eagle High buy By Sangeetha Amarthalingam & Chester Tay / The Edge Financial Daily   | December 29, 2016

Palm oil deal embroiled in Malaysian politics  DECEMBER 30, 2016 by: Jeevan Vasagar

Felda-Eagle High deal slammed for profiting Indonesia's Rajawali 29 Dec 2016 -- PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man pointed out how Indonesian billionaire Peter Sondakh, who owns Rajawali Group, had purchased shares at EHP for 400 rupiah per share. It was estimated that Rajawali Group had spent US$570 million to acquire a 68.6 percent stake in EHP. Read more:

Rafizi poses questions to PM on Felda-Eagle High Plantations deal Read more:

News update for 6 Sep to come 30 Dec customised.

5 Sep 2016: PTPN III prepares strategies, Wilmar helps smallholders, Malaysia peatland policy

PTPN III prepares strategies to reverse poor situation Jakarta | Thu, August 25 2016 -- It became a holding company in October 2014 and now manages 13 state-owned plantation firms. 
In the first six months of 2016, it already reported a net loss of Rp 823.43 billion (US$62.14 million) that was deeper than the Rp 529.95 billion net loss it posted last year.
“Our losses were mostly caused by sluggish productivity in our oil palm and rubber plantations,” PTPN III president director Elia Massa Manik said in a briefing in Jakarta on Tuesday.
Elia attributed the sluggish productivity to mature oil palm trees, low commodity prices and mismanagement, especially on rubber plantations.
PTPN III’s plantations are dominated by oil palm trees that cover 57.5 percent of the area, followed by rubber trees that cover 19.53 percent and other plants that take up the remaining parts.

Wilmar helps smallholders gain sustainability certificates Jakarta | Wed, August 24 2016

Malaysia challenges the world over palm oil on peatland by Bambang Nurbianto, The Jakarta Post in Kuching, Serawak, Malaysia | Wed, August 24 2016 --

News update for 29 Jul to 4 Sep customised.

29 July 2016: Some sugar growers reject Wilmar, Sime Darby mill cleared, NGO calls on Liberia to prevent the export of tropical timber from plantation concessions, Felda investment - Rajawali deal  

Australia - Majority of Burdekin growers reject Wilmar offer 28 July 2016  -- Burdekin growers have put forward a united front, with majority in the region choosing to reject Wilmar's Cane Supply Agreements (CSA) for 2017, according to local press reports. It has been an uphill battle between growers and millers since Wilmar

Australia - Sugar industry re-regulation slammed by Productivity Commission 25 July 2016  -- A draft report on the way forward for farm businesses burdened by regulation has reignited a bitter feud in Australia's sugar industry by recommending new sugar marketing laws be scrapped, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Adani Wilmar to diversify into value-added food business - Adani Wilmar plans to tap overseas markets, including China and Malaysia, with its value-added oil and food products Jul 29 2016

Sime Darby’s Ulu Remis Palm Oil Mill Cleared for Operations -- Kuala Lumpur, 27 July 2016 - Sime Darby Plantation yesterday received a letter from the Department of Environment, Johor, reinstating the license to operate its Ulu Remis Palm Oil Mill in Johor.

Take action against errant industries BY DEBBIE INJAN ANAK ANDREW JUMAT - 23 JULY 2016 -- According to the Department of Environment, the total water pollution sources (both point sources and non-point sources) in 2006 is 19.7 per cent in Johor and this region has a high oil palm density. Recently, there were water disruptions in Johor due to Sungai Johor being polluted with high ammonia content. This was detected on July 12 by the state authorities. It rendered the water unfit for human consumption. The pollution forced the temporary shutdown of three water treatment plants: Sungai Johor, Semanggar and Tai Hong. The temporary shutdown of these plants affected 120,000 accounts in the southern part of Johor, not to mention the impact on the river ecosystem....This is the second case after an illegal waste-processing factory was charged for dumping waste into the river last year....Since the 1970s, Malaysia has regulated industrial effluents, including those from the palm oil industry. The Environmental Act 1974 prohibits the discharging of effluents into the river to protect our water sources.  Read More :

“Liberia’s Rainforests In Danger” 07/27/2016 By William Q. Harmon -- SDI says the country’s forests are under renewed threats from what it termed as Conversion Timber/Logging, which the government is on the verge of introducing – and has the potential to destroy the country’s remaining rain forests....At a ceremony over the weekend where the SDI presented a petition to government, SDI disclosed that the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) has developed regulations that would enable large-scale timber extraction in agricultural concession areas for export. SDI believes this will further exacerbate the threats from the oil palm sector...At present, commercial logging and timber export are banned. Were government to permit the sale of timber from the legal clearing of forests for oil palm concessions, this would simplify the laundering of illegal timber and drastically increase the pressure on the country’s forests.... However, SDI has been joined by 50 international holders of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize calling on the government to prevent the export of tropical timber from plantation concessions....   

Felda investment unit, Rajawali likely to ink stake deal soon BY AFIQ ISAandIZWAN IDRIS 28 July 2016 -- PETALING JAYA: An investment unit of the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) may sign an agreement for the acquisition of a significant stake in Indonesian planter Eagle High Plantations Tbk. According to sources, representatives from the Rajawali Group and Felda may be meeting in Jakarta next week for a signing ceremony to conclude the deal, which has been over a year in the making and has undergone several iterations. ...

Stock With Momentum: Felda Global Ventures Holdings By Asia Analytica / The Edge Financial Daily   | July 26, 2016 

PM: Children of Felda settlers in Klang Valley proof of social mobility BY KAMLES KUMAR

Affin Hwang lowers IOI Corp earnings forecast 22 July 2016

RAM Ratings reaffirms Batu Kawan RM500m debt notes 25 July 2016

US investors ploughing billions into palm oil, claims report - Friends of the Earth warns investors they could be unknowingly contributing to deforestation and land grabs, and calls on them to show leadership Oliver Milman 26 July 2016

Failure of Indonesia’s palm oil commitment ‘not bad news’ [commentary] 27 July 2016 / Commentary by Scott Poynton Scott Poynton is the founder of The Forest Trust (TFT), an international non-profit that works with corporations to address environmental challenges. In this editorial, Poynton says there is “no time for NGO Handwringing: IPOP was a distraction. Its demise is not bad news”. The views expressed in this commentary are his own.

26 July 2016: Oxfam - 10 Companies Own All The World’s Brands, COFCO-Chinatex Merger, South Africa collusion case and more

This Infographic Shows How Only 10 Companies Own All The World’s Brands by Kate Ryan -- Credit: Oxfam International. Just when you think there’s no end to the diversity of junk food lining supermarket aisles, an insanely detailed infographic comes along to set us all straight. Out of the hundreds of products at our disposal, only ten major corporations manufacture the bulk of what we toss in our shopping carts. So whether you’re looking to stock up on anything from orange soda to latte-flavored potato chips, Mondelez, Kraft, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, PepsiCo, P&G, Johnson & Johnson, Mars, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg's, and Unilever own just about everything you could hope to buy. It seems that six degrees of separation theory has been proven after all, if only because we all drink Diet Coke every now and then. In order to visually elucidate that point, Oxfam International created a comprehensive infographic that reveals the extensive reach of the “Big 10” food and beverage companies. Unlikely ties between brands we largely don’t associate with one another show how easy it is to be misinformed about the American food system. For example, PepsiCo produces Quaker granola bars, and Nestlé makes Kit Kat bars but also frozen California Pizza Kitchen pies. To the surprise of many, Pineapple Fanta isn’t sourced straight from the mythical Fanta Islands, but canned right alongside Barq’s root beer at the Coca-Cola factory....

COFCO-Chinatex Merger to create grain trading force  China Daily, July 16, 2016  -- The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission on Friday announced the merger of China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corp with Chinatex Corp, in the process of creating a bigger rival to compete with the so-called ABCD companies....The term ABCD refers to the companies that dominate global grain trading, serving as middlemen between farmers and buyers. The groups are ADM Co, Bunge Ltd and Cargill Inc from the United States, and the Netherlands-based Louis Dreyfus SAS. Chinatex, one of the nation's main textile and grains trading groups, will become a subsidiary of COFCO, the country's biggest food trader after the merger, the SASAC said on its website, indicating that the central government would push further ahead with its efforts to restructure State-owned enterprises this year.....

Weak output, heavy levies to slam Bumitama Agri’s Q2 profits Staff Reporter, Singapore Published: 22 Jul 16 - See more at:


An Investor’s Look At The Financial Performance Of Wilmar International Limited And First Resources Ltd By Lawrence Nga - July 21, 2016

What Investors Should Know About Malaysian Palm Oil Company: Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad  By Lawrence Nga - July 20, 2016

Is Wilmar’s second-quarter loss a harbinger for the sector? Singapore-based agricultural trader cites flooding in Argentina and volatility in soyabean prices by  Emiko Terazono

PPB Group falls after Wilmar profit warning  20 July 2016

Soy, sugar rallies wrong-foot Wilmar, which plunges into rare loss  19th Jul 2016, by Mike Verdin

Wilmar shares recover, a little, after worst fall since 2012  20th Jul 2016, by

Sime Darby Hudson Knight signs consent agreement over collusive conduct BY MARK ALLIX,  20 JULY 2016

Sime Darby and Unilever operated a cartel in South Africa by Will Green news editor of Supply Management

Brexit impact on Sime Darby’s Battersea development limited By Affin Hwang Research / The Edge Financial Daily   | July 18, 2016

Malaysian Government Studying Sri Lanka, Sime Darby's Plantation Worker Requests From R. Ravichandran

Govt to study request for Lankan workers BY ZULKIFLI ABDUL RAHMAN IN COLOMBO 22 July 2016

Cargill latest to drop IOI Corp as palm oil supplier after RSPO suspension By Supriya Surendran /   | July 19, 2016

Cargill suspends new purchase agreements with Malaysian palm oil giant IOI 18 July 2016 / - Under pressure from civil society, IOI’s customers attempt to clean up their palm oil supply chains.

Affin Hwang lowers IOI Corp earnings forecast 22 July 2016 - o recap, IOI submitted a status update of its quarterly progress report on June 27 and is now awaiting an official reply from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Complaint Panel on its application to lift the certification suspension.  “The decline in market capitalisation since March seems disproportionate to the potential financial impact. A positive outcome on its application hence is expected to result in a share price rebound, in our view,” it said.

Worst may be over for Sime Darby’s, but upturn yet to be seen  July 16, 2016 -- As for Sime’s plantations business, it noted that Sime is leading in sustainability compliance and it believed risk of non-compliance is low. “As at end-2015, 100 per cent of its Malaysian upstream and downstream business units, and 96 per cent of its Indonesian upstream and 77 per cent of downstream business units are RSPO-certified. “All of NBPOL’s upstream operations (including all smallholders) and its downstream unit In Liverpool are also RSPO-certified. SIME now supplies approximately 20 per cent of the global CSPO market. “In plantation development, the group complies strictly with RSPO Principles & Criteria (RSPO P&C); Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) processes; and Social & Environmental Impact Assessments (SEIA) standards. Development in High Conservation Value (HCV) areas is avoided and a Zero Burning Policy has been implemented since 1985,” it explained.

LIBERIA: Sime Darby’s Response to The Inquirer’s Article  July 26, 2016 Cholo Brooks -- Monrovia, 26 July 2016 – In reference to the article published in The Inquirer on July 25th headlined “Sime Darby Given 14 days Ultimatum” , Sime Darby Plantation Liberia (SDPL) would like to inform all our stakeholders who have been assisting  us and the communities in this matter , that SDPL has received a letter from the communities  that is in substance the source of the story published in The Inquirer . The letter was signed by Eshmeal H. Pusah, Sr . and Jefferson V . Paasewe, claiming to be, respectively,  new Secretary and new Chairman of the Project Affected Community . The letter was also signed by 65 residents of the 15 townships which are part of the 17 project affected communities (P AC). SDPL takes seriously the concerns raised by the community , and that is why SDPL established the independent multi-stakeholder crop compensation investigation on process that would review the evidence and make recommendations on how best to resolve the issue. Meanwhile, SDPL seeks to set the record straight.....

IMOIIMAX tanker Stena Imagination is delivered in International Shipping News 16/07/2016 -- The MR tanker Stena Imagination has been delivered from the Chinese shipyard GSI (Guangzhou Shipbuilding International). The vessel is jointly owned on a 50-50 basis by Stena Bulk and Indonesian Golden Agri Resources (GAR) and is the seventh of a total of 13 IMOIIMAX tankers ordered by Stena Bulk. She will be operated by Stena Weco and sail in the company’s global logistics system, which currently employs about 60 vessels.

GAR Podcast: The challenges of achieving traceability, access to markets and sustainability targets for smallholders farmers -- Ian Welsh from Innovation Forum talks to Anita Neville, Vice President, Corporate Communications and External Affairs at GAR about the challenges of achieving traceability, access to markets and sustainability targets for smallholders farmers. Listen to the podcast here.

Eye on stock; Felda Global Ventures BY K.M. LEE 16 July 2016

Renewed buying interest emerged in Felda Global, says AllianceDBS Research By /   | July 18, 2016

Agenda to develop Felda, nation remains as govt’s top priority, Najib says - See more at:

19 July 2016: United Plantations labour contractor issue in the news

Worker attempts suicide, PSM and firm resolve 'misunderstanding' 14 Jul 2016 -- A worker tried to hang himself last month after claiming that a Perak plantation firm he worked for was withholding his wages. The worker was rushed to hospital and a police report was lodged by PSM against United Plantations (UP) on Monday. However, after a meeting with UP in Teluk Intan on Wednesday, PSM deputy chairperson M Sarasvathy said there was a "misunderstanding"....    

PSM, Plantation Firm Resolve 'Misunderstanding' Over Worker's Unpaid Salary Claim by Ivy Chang | 15 July 2016 -- PETALING JAYA: Parti Sosialis Malaysia and United Plantations have resolved a misunderstanding over a worker who tried to hang himself last month after reportedly claiming that the plantation firm he worked for was withholding his wages. After a meeting with UP in Teluk Intan on Wednesday, PSM deputy chairperson M Sarasvathy told news portal Malaysiakini there was a "misunderstanding". "The meeting was attended by top level management of UP who explained to us that there has been a misunderstanding, as the worker’s wages were fully paid up.... "However, the management agreed to resolve the complaints and claims raised on behalf of the worker in relation to his employment under a contractor." The worker, B Kannan, an Indian national was rushed to hospital after the suicide bid and PSM had lodged a police report against the plantation firm on Monday. The worker was also "overjoyed" with the outcome, she said.... UP head manager C Mathew said while the suicide attempt was "unfortunate", Kannan had problems with absenteeism and this disqualified him for gratuitous payment. "UP is known to respect and take care of its workers which it will continue to do as it has done in the past. "However, we can’t reward and pay workers who are absent and unproductive... that would be unfair to the many hardworking and productive workers in our company." He said the company was thankful Kannan survived the suicide attempt and would ensure his safe return to India. He added that the company would give him ex-gratia payment for his emotional distress....

17 July 2016: Indofood, Golden Agri Resources  to become world leaders, GVL says no timber sales from concession area

Provident Agro to divest oil palm units ahead of moratorium July 14 2016 -- In the wake of the government’s plan to impose a moratorium on new oil palm plantation licenses, publicly listed plantation firm Provident Agro has announced a plan to sell millions of shares in four subsidiaries for up to Rp 2.7 trillion (US$206.1 million) in an effort to provide more capital to finance its operations and future expansion.  The company, jointly owned by investment firms Saratoga Sentra Business and Provident Capital Indonesia, will sell its shares in West Kalimantan-based firms, namely Global Kalimantan Makmur (2.2 million shares), Semai Lestari (100,000 shares), Nusaraya Permai (40,000 shares) and Saban Sawit Subur (200,000 shares)....Provident Agro currently possesses 12 plantations in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Sulawesi and seven mills with a total capacity of 285 tons fresh fruit bunches (FFB) per hour. This year, the company aims to produce 500,000 tons of FFB and 200,000 tons of crude palm oil (CPO), an increase of 11 and 63 percent compared to last year, respectively. ....Provident Agro was among the major plantation companies that were allegedly responsible for the destruction of 2.61 million hectares of forest and peatlands in Sumatra and Kalimantan last year. According to the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), the incident resulted in the deaths of 21 people, while another 500,000 suffered from respiratory problems as a consequence of a five-month-long choking haze. As a result, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo recently instructed the Environment and Forestry Ministry to end the entire process for the issuance of new palm oil permits. A presidential regulation has been prepared to form the legal basis for the moratorium, which will also proscribe the existing idle concessions to be cultivated once the regulation is in place.


GLC-linked palm oil mill ordered to close over river pollution  15 July 2016 -- A palm oil mill belonging to a government-linked company in Ulu Remis here has been ordered to close for 60 days pending cleaning up of effluent discharge that could have caused high ammonia content in Sungai Johor..... He said the Department of Environment (DOE) received a report from Syarikat Air Johor on Monday and an investigation was conducted before the possible source of the pollution was identified on Thursday. "DOE officers and company personnel spotted an overflow from the drainage where effluents flow from the mill. "This could have caused the pollution," he told reporters during a surprise site visit to the mill Friday. The high ammonia content in the river forced the closure of three treatment plants, causing a major water disruption that affected some 600,000 consumers in the southern part of Johor.

Sungai Johor Ammonia Pollution Issue -- Kuala Lumpur, 16 July 2016 - With reference to recent statements quoted in the media, Sime Darby Plantation would like to clarify the following:  The Company has been cooperating with the authorities including the Department of Environment, Badan Kawalselia Air Johor and Syarikat Air Johor since Wednesday, 13 July 2016. Our checks have shown that there was no physical evidence of Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) being the cause of contamination....

GLC-linked palm oil mill ordered to close over river pollution  15 July 2016 -- A palm oil mill belonging to a government-linked company in Ulu Remis here has been ordered to close for 60 days pending cleaning up of effluent discharge that could have caused high ammonia content in Sungai Johor..... He said the Department of Environment (DOE) received a report from Syarikat Air Johor on Monday and an investigation was conducted before the possible source of the pollution was identified on Thursday. "DOE officers and company personnel spotted an overflow from the drainage where effluents flow from the mill. "This could have caused the pollution," he told reporters during a surprise site visit to the mill Friday. The high ammonia content in the river forced the closure of three treatment plants, causing a major water disruption that affected some 600,000 consumers in the southern part of Johor.

Australia - Wilmar raises 2016 crop outlook Published: 12 July 2016

Tensions high as Wilmar and growers discuss agreement Emily Smith | 12th Jul 2016

Letter: Wilmar not sweet with growers  Jul 12 2016 -- Agribusiness group Wilmar is up to its old tricks – making public comments that it is complying with the Queensland Sugar Industry Act, but again putting contracts on the table that are designed to frustrate real competitive choice and treating sugar cane growers like fools. They have put some innovative ideas around pricing and financial packages for growers, but they are frustrating choice.

Letter: Wilmar responds to Canegrowers' claims Jul 14 2016

Wilmar emerges winner among unfancied upstream players By Gwyneth Yeo /   | July 13, 2016

Why Have Wilmar International Limited’s Shares Lost 36% In Value In 5 Years? By Lawrence Nga - July 11, 2016

Indofood, Golden Agri Resources Rise as Global Challengers: BCG By : Sarah Yuniarni | on 5:20 PM July 09, 2016 - Indofood Sukses Makmur, the world's largest instant noodle maker and Golden Agri Resources, the world's second-largest palm oil plantation company, are tipped to follow fellow Indonesian company Wilmar International to become world leaders in their respective business, according to a report from Boston Consulting Group

BRIEF-CFTC fines Golden Agri International for failing to report cash positions  Jul 11, 2016 1:16pm EDT

CFTC Orders Golden Agri International Pte Ltd. To Pay $150,000 For Failing To Report Cash Positions  11/07/2016

Sustainable Development Goals and the GAR Social and Environmental Policy (GSEP) - Part 2 Lim Shu Ling | 14 Jul 2016

LIBERIA: GVL Strongly Rejects SDI’s Erroneous Assertion July 11, 2016 by  Cholo Brooks Blog -- It has repeatedly asked the FDA and SDI for guidance on what is legally permissible in order to help the community maximum value from its land. Based on feedback from the FDA following our request for clarity, GVL has advised the community that they will not be able to extract timber for their own business purposes.GVL wishes to reiterate that it has been open and transparent from the outset in this matter and has fully complied with the advice and requests it has received from FDA throughout. GVL has never sought to sell timber for commercial purposes, either in Liberia or for export, and has complied at all times with its own No Deforestation policy commitments’...

Liberia: GVL Rejects Media Report 12 JULY 2016 Golden Veroleum Liberia strongly rejects the suggestion that it had applied for "a permit to allow logging for export in its Concession Area" as suggested in the Front Page Africa article of 11 July 2016 titled "Liberia's Forest in Danger - International conservationists Alarm"...

Indofood gets a taste of Turkey with expansion plans underway 13/07/2016 Indonesia’s largest food producer, PT Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk or better known as Indofood has been trying to tap into the European market via its first stop, Turkey. It all started since 2014, where food giant set up a factory in the highly-populated country of a 78 million population and it’s said to be one of Indofood’s biggest markets now. Anthoni Salim, chief executive of Indofood told local reporters during his recent press conference at the company’s headquarter in Jakarta that – Turkey is seen as a bridge to enter the EU. Financial Times reported that the FMCG giant’s target is to increase its global business to 15% by penetrating the global halal food market. In its home country Indonesia, the company dominates with a 10% market share in the FMCG pie, accounting for 70% of the domestic noodle market. This contributes about 65 percent of its revenue. The company has been reportedly targeting emerging markets like Turkey, includ across the Middle East and Africa in spreading their influence plus branding overseas.

9 July 2016: Corporate news update 

Palm Oil Giants In Indonesia Backtrack On “Zero Deforestation” Pledge: What It Means For Investors? By Stanley Lim Peir Shenq, CFA - July 7, 2016

Palm Oil Still the Gold Standard: Minamas. Palm oil company Minamas Plantation, a local arm of Malaysia's conglomerate Sime Darby, said demand for palm oil will remain robust in the coming years. By : Ratri M. Siniwi | on 3:30 PM July 02

Bunge sells stake in Vietnam operations to Wilmar Jul 5, 2016 -- Commodity trader Bunge Ltd will sell half its stake in oilseed crushing operations in Vietnam to Singapore's Wilmar International Ltd, the world's largest palm oil processor and one of the biggest soybean buyers, the companies said on Tuesday.  Wilmar, which is partly owned by Bunge rival Archer Daniels Midland Co, will buy 45 percent of the crushing operations. Green Feed, a Vietnamese feed milling business, will keep a 10 percent stake in the operations, creating a three-party joint venture. Terms were not disclosed.

Bunge, Wilmar to partner to develop Vietnamese feed chain By Aerin Curtis, 06-Jul-2016 Bunge Limited and Wilmar International Limited are set to team up in a joint venture to develop the supply chain of soybean products in Vietnam.

Canegrowers won't be rushed into Wilmar agreement Emily Smith | 5th Jul 2016 -- CANEGROWERS representatives won't be rushed into substandard cane supply agreements with Wilmar just to take advantage of current high sugar prices. That's the promise from Canegrowers Mackay chairman Kevin Borg as Herbert, Plane Creek, Burdekin and Proserpine representatives meet with Wilmar in Home Hill this morning. Together, they will negotiate terms around their cane supply agreements. Growers who supply milling company Wilmar have had no cane supply agreement beyond the 2016 futures, after legislation was introduced at the end of last year to guarantee growers choice in how their sugar would be marketed. While this has meant growers have been unable to lock in the advantages of sky-high sugar prices, Mr Borg said ensuring the contracts were sustainable into the future was the priority. "Growers are not prepared to sell themselves out for a short-term gain," he said....

Instant noodles warm up European market for Indofood The Indonesian group is eager to enter Europe, where it hopes to replicate its success story. Read more at:

Thousands of Indomie vendors return home for Idul Fitri  The Jakarta Post Jakarta | July 2 2016 -- Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur, the instant noodle unit of publicly listed food giant Indofood, is providing free rides for thousands of Indomie food stalls vendors across the capital to return to their hometowns for Idul Fitri. The company, widely known for instant noodle brand Indomie, dispatched 11,302 noodle stall owners on Saturday using 198 buses to several parts of Java as part of the company's social responsibility program....

Cambodia Palm oil yields up as crop matures 6 July 2016 by Hor Kimsay -- Export of crude palm oil from Mong Reththy Group, the Kingdom’s only active producer, doubled during the first half of the year despite prices showing no indication of improving, a company executive said yesterday. Mong Reththa, vice chairman of the board of directors at Mong Reththy Investment Cambodia Palm Oil, said the group subsidiary exported 13,000 tonnes of crude palm oil during the first six months of 2016, a 116 per cent increase compared to the same period one year earlier. The value of the exported product reached $7.5 million in the first half of the year, compared to $3.5 million one year earlier...

Olam pushes farms in Africa oil producer to stem income fall By Bloomberg / Bloomberg   | July 7, 2016 : 7:47 AM MYT  -- President Ali Bongo, 57, who will run for a second term in August, has said he wants to boost agricultural output to as much as 20% of gross domestic product by 2020, from about 5% at present. Under the government's agriculture program, which began in 2014 and is known as Graine, people who complete a training course or are seen as eligible to farm can obtain land titles in less than a year. Graine is meant to "turn farmers into entrepreneurs," Mr Gupta said.... The government has also fast-tracked the process of issuing land titles to cooperatives and individuals to boost agriculture, Gupta said. About 4,000 people have registered for the programme in the hope of obtaining land, he said. Olam is currently developing 50,000 hectares of arable land into an industrial oil-palm plantation in northern Gabon, according to Gupta. Once the farm is completed, an additional 30,000 hectares will be l... out for small-scale palm-oil growers. 

Here’s how First Resources is bringing profits back to life in 2016. Sales volume, ASP are poised to rebound. A catch-up is around the corner for First Resources (FR), as analysts predict healthier average selling prices (ASP) and heftier sales volume from downstream operations. According to a report by UOB Kay Hian, FR is poised to see stronger earnings ahead. For 2Q16, FR is seen to record raised QoQ fresh fruit bunch (FFB) production. Estimates show FFB production to be in the 5-8% QoQ, though still down 18-20% YoY. Net crude palm oil (CPO) ASP is expected to come in at around US$600/tonne, reflecting a flat YoY movement and 20% QoQ jump. - See more at:

Exciting growth in palm phytonutrient segment BY HANIM ADNAN 27 June 2016, Two leading players – Hovid Bhd managing director David Ho and Carotino Sdn Bhd executive director U.R. Unnithan – shared their views with StarBiz recently on the latest development in the palm phytonutrient sphere. According to Ho, demand for palm phytonutrients in the nutraceutical segment was increasing but “still at its infancy stage...

Environmental Destruction, Land Grabs: Controversial Oil Palm Plantations in the Peruvian Amazon - Melka group plans to sell off its Plantations By Forest Peoples Programme Global Research, June 28, 2016

25 June 2016: PepsiCo "engaging" with Indofood on child labour accusations, Liberia communities MOU with GVL

Indofood pushes Indomie as global halal noodle brand by WATARU SUZUKI and SINAN TAVSAN, Nikkei staff writers June 19, 2016

PepsiCo "engaging" with Indofood on child labour accusations By Katy Askew | 20 June 2016

PepsiCo products in Indonesia tainted with worker abuses, report finds 23 June 2016 / Daniel Pye -- A new investigation into the palm oil plantations of Indofood, the sole maker of PepsiCo products in the Southeast Asian country, reveal child labor, exposure to hazardous chemicals, below minimum-wage payments and more.

Liberia’s Du-Wolee & Nyennue Communities Sign Oil Palm MOU with GVL -- Monrovia-More than 300 Citizens of Du-Wolee and  Nyennue communities, including  youth, elders, women's groups, district and county authority representatives welcomed agreement being reached for Golden Veroleum Liberia's (GVL)oil palm operations to come to the area after more than 3 years of negotiation.


New Britain Palm Oil Limited and PNG NID Sign MOU 22 Jun 2016 -- The National Identification System (NID) will help integrated landowner groups (ILG) to renew ILG certificates and customary land lease insurance for small holders.  This comes thanks to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today between PNG NID and the largest agricultural in the country, New Britain Palm Oil Limited (NBPOL) in Port Moresby. Country Manager, Robert Nilkare, said NBPOL impacts 5 per cent of the agricultural business benefits to Papua New Guineans primarily engaged in the agriculture sector. As the biggest corporation in PNG it has continuous investment in estate development and processing facilities in West New Britain, Milne Bay, Oro, Morobe and New Ireland provinces. “Total land investment and development is around 136,268 hectares and has over 23,000 employees, most of whom are small holders,” he added.   Given the economic potential, NBPOL has considered introducing the NID system to its small and medium enterprises....

EPO, MoA Leading Rehabilitation Project for Palm Farmers, Grand Bassa County, June 2016 - Equatorial Palm Oil (EPO) and the Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Agriculture are collaborating and leading efforts to help with the rehabilitation of oil palm smallholder farms in District #4, Grand Bassa County. The rehabilitation program which is being funded by the World Bank, is a pilot study undertaken to revitalize the smallholder oil palm farmers and provide necessary information required for the future replanting of these identified farms to promote an Out Growers Program under the Smallholder Tree Crops Revitalization Support Project (STCRSP). The immediate goal of the project is to provide support for the rehabilitation of existing oil palm farms around the concession who have registered with the program and are in the recently established farmers’ cooperative. Equatorial Palm Oil is providing technical and supervisory support for a successful implementation of this current rehabilitation project. The Ministry of Agriculture is leading the implementation, monitoring and evaluation component of the project.

IOI Corp has highest revenue exposure to Europe, says CIMB Research 17 June 2016

FGV will only participate in deals with good returns, says CEO 15 June 2016

FGV calls off MOU with companies Bernama  14 Jun 2016

Analysts applaud FGV’s plan to call off biodegradable plastics  June 16, 2016 --

FGV: Q2 turnaround in sight BY OOI TEE CHING - 16 JUNE 2016

Commodities trader ADM to raise stake in Singapore's Wilmar Jun 15, 2016

Archer Daniels Midland hikes stake in Wilmar with $428.8m share purchase - the shares were sold by Wilmar's co-founder. Food processing conglomerate Archer Daniels Midland has acquired 127 million ordinary shares in Wilmar International for $428.8 million.  The shares were sold by Bolney Enterprises, a subsidiary of Golden Parklane Limited (GPL). Wilmar's co-founder Martus Sitorus is a substantial shareholder of GPL. See more at:

UPDATE: Rainfall delays crushing at four of five sugar mills Emily Smith | 13th Jun 2016

Some M’sian firms to take a hit if Brexit happens 16 June 2016 -- KUALA LUMPUR: A Brexit from the European Union (EU) will negatively impact Malaysian companies with assets there including Sime Darby Bhd, YTL Corp Bhd and Genting Malaysia Bhd. These companies are involved in property developments, regulated assets and casino operations...

A quiet traceable revolution in the palm oil industry - Golden Agri-Resources is the world's second largest palm oil producer. Its managing director Agus Purnomo unravels the complexity of tracing palm oil supply chains and sheds light on how this will give birth to a more sustainable and resilient palm oil industry. By Agus Purnomo  15 June 2016

Thriving in the face of adversity BY JOY LEE  13 June 2016 -- Lipidchem, established in 1996, started manufacturing stearic acid powder in 1998 with a small capacity of 18 tonnes a month. Powdered stearic acid, derived from palm oil, works as a binder, lubricant and slow release agent in tablets, explains founder and managing director Cheng Yin Tiong. The company’s produce was sold to the pharmaceutical and supplement industry. As demand grew, Lipidchem relocated to its current 2,229.6sq m premises in Kawasan MIEL, Johor Bahru, in 2000. Capacity was increased to five tonnes a day, which translates into 150 tonnes a month, and the company also added new facilities to expand its product use.

EPO, MoA Leading Rehabilitation Project for Palm Farmers, June 2016 --

NGO alleges abuses at Indofood plantations by  Hans Nicholas Jong The Jakarta Post Jakarta | Thu, June 9 2016

News update

Sipef calls time on palm oil rally - but sanguine on rubber prices  9th Jun 2016, by Mike Verdin -- Sipef called time on the rally in palm oil prices, but signalled some optimism over a recovery in rubber values – even as Tokyo futures in the tyre ingredient hit a four-month low. Baron Bracht, in his swansong as the plantations group's chairman, said that palm oil prices - having jumped by 45% since August in Rotterdam to top $700 a tonne – may struggle for further headway, given the prospect of higher supplies of rival vegetable soyoil....

Indofood, subsidiary pay total Rp 920 billion in dividends The Jakarta Post June 4 2016

Indofood to spend Rp 1.6t on new instant noodle plants Stefani Ribka The Jakarta Post  June 6 2016

Indofood to Build Special Factories for Instant Noodle 06 JUNE, 2016 -- TEMPO.CO, Jakarta-PT Indofood Sukses Makmur (INDF) continues to increase its product marketing in foreign and domestic area by building three to four new factories this year. Based on the press release from PT NH Korindo Securities, the four factories will focus on manufacturing instant noodles. However, it does not rule out the possibility that it will also be utilized for other Indofood business lines. One of the factories located in Cirebon, West Java, has an enormous investment value of Rp400 billion, with three production lines. The number of lines can be adjusted with the needs of the production and can reach up to six lines.

NGO alleges abuses at Indofood plantations Hans Nicholas Jong The Jakarta Post  June 9 2016

Japanese Firm To Build Rp200 Billion Salt Factory in East Nusa Tenggara: BKPM By : Sarah Yuniarni June 06, 2016

Malaysian palm oil giant IOI drops lawsuit against green group - Former Unilever and Nestlé supplier says it now aims to comply with the RSPO’s highest level of accreditation by the end of the year  Karl Mathiesen 7 June 2016

Palm oil giant's impact in Indonesia worse than reported, says Greenpeace - The NGO accuses Malaysian palm oil company IOI of failing to act in accordance with its own sustainability policies and Indonesian law Hannah Gould 9 June 2016

Sime Darby Plantation buys sustainable oil from small producers in Sabah  9 June 2016 -- KUALA LUMPUR: Sime Darby Plantation is working with Malaysian-based social enterprise Wild Asia (WA) to assist small oil palm producers in the Lower Kinabatangan area in Sabah to be part of its sustainable palm oil value chain.  Under the partnership, Sime Darby Plantion will secure the supply of certified oil palm Fresh Fruit Bunch (FFB) from small producers under the Wild Asia Group Scheme (WAGS) for its Sandakan palm oil mill.  In a statement on Thursday, the company said there are about 1,000 small producers in the Lower Kinabatangan area, of which 400 have been identified by WA. This includes 115 which have achieved the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification for their operations.  The company added that they will work to assist the other small producers in the area to achieve RSPO certification, in order to ensure a more steady income for them....Small producers in the lower Kinabatangan area are a group of independent oil palm growers, each with less than 500 hectares of planted areas.   They also include smallholders with even smaller plantation size of 50 hectares and below....

IOI ready to settle RSPO issues 3 June 2016 -- KUALA LUMPUR: Plantation giant, IOI Corp Bhd has submitted documents to comply with conditions set by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) for the lifting of the suspension.  CIMB Research expect this case to be deliberated at RSPO’s complaints panel (CP) meeting in June 2016 and the suspension could be lifted if the CP was satisfied with IOI’s submission. “We gathered from the RSPO website that the CP meets once a month via teleconference. We are of the view that if the CP is satisfied with IOI’s submission and accepts its plans, the CP is likely to recommend that the RSPO Board of Governors lifts IOI Corp’s RSPO certification suspension.  “However, should there be queries by the CP on the submissions, the lifting of suspension may be delayed until the next meeting,” CIMB Research said.... It added that there was a possibility that the challenge in Switzerland would be dropped once the suspension is lifted.  Last month, IOI Corp filed challenge proceedings in the Zurich Court of Switzerland against the RSPO board of governors’ decision to suspend the company. Following this, the court has set a date for conciliatory hearing by the Justice of Peace with both parties present....

In what is the biggest transaction in a Good Class Bungalow Area in nearly a year, a house along Kingsmead Road where the late Raffles Institution principal Philip Liau used to reside is being sold for S$29 million... The buyer is understood to be Darwin Indigo, a nephew of Wilmar executive deputy chairman Martua Sitorus. Mr Indigo, who is in his mid-30s, is deputy country head (Indonesia) at Wilmar International. He also sits on the board of Kencana Agri Ltd, an associate company of Wilmar.

New GRAIN article: ADM’s offshore links to Wilmar, world’s worst environmental offender by GRAIN | 08 June 2016 -- Wilmar, based in Singapore, amassed 600,000 hectares of oil palm plantations through deforestation and the violent eviction of local communities. Newsweek magazine ranked it as the world’s “worst” corporation in terms of environmental performance. But this criticism of Wilmar rarely spills over to ADM, one of its top shareholders. Few people appear to be aware of the offshore structure through which ADM and Wilmar are so deeply entwined.

FGV to maintain policy of paying out half of net profits to shareholders  By OOI TEE CHING - 1 June 2016

Adani Wilmar, Ruchi Soya ink consumer goods JV TNN | May 31, 2016

Ruchi Soya and Adani Wilmar plan joint venture in India May 25, 2016

GVL donates crude palm oil to host communities in Sinoe 24 May 2016

Liberia: Soros Connection - Why Global Witness Report Won't Go Away -- By Rodney D. Sieh Monrovia — George Soros is widely known as the hedge fund tycoon and renowned philanthropist. His philanthropic work has been instrumental to Liberia where since the ascendance to office of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the country has benefited from millions in various humanitarian areas... His son, Alexander, is the founder of The Alexander Soros Foundation, an organization promoting civil rights, social justice and education. The younger Soros who visited Liberia sits on the board Global Witness, which exposes and breaks the links between natural resources, conflict and corruption; and the Open Society Foundations, the New York City-based group founded by his dad who works to build vibrant and tolerant democracies. While both organizations receive strong financial support from the Soros Foundation, it is the former that has been in the thick of exposing lapses in Liberia's governance, since it started in 1993 and dubbed by many as Soros' anti-corruption campaigner group....

Liberia: GVL Repudiates Erroneous Allegations of Child Labour 25 May 2016 -- press release. Monrovia — Golden Veroleum Liberia strongly rejects allegations of child labor by the company as contained in recent news report published by Daily Observer Newspaper title "Advocate Demands Justice for Children" and the New Dawn Newspaper report titled "Liberian Children Alarm Danger" published on 25 and 18 May 2016. GVL policies are clear; we don't hire children at all. GVL makes similar requirement of its subcontractor and suppliers, and works to monitor their workforces.

Sime Darby denies employment of children  May 23, 2016 Cholo Brooks Blog -- In reference to an article in The New Dawn titled “Liberian Children Alarm Danger” published on 18 May, Sime Darby Plantation (Liberia) Inc. (SDPL) denies the allegation that the company employs children in its operations. SDPL does not employ any children in Liberia or anywhere else and it respects and abides by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Liberian Law. Our workers’ union, General Agriculture and Allied Workers Union of Liberia (GAAWUL) through the signed Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), ensures that there are no children employed with our company.

EXCLUSIVE: Mondelēz urges IOI Group not to sue RSPO By David Burrows, 26-May-2016 Mondelēz International has called on palm oil supplier IOI Group to withdraw its legal action against the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

Sime Darby’s earnings hard hit by harsh weather   By Meena Lakshana / The Edge Financial Daily   | May 26, 2016 : 9:36 AM MYT    This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on May 26, 2016. KUALA LUMPUR: The dry weather in the past few months due to the El Nino phenomenon has severely affected the yields of Sime Darby Bhd’s plantations, said its president and group chief executive Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh....

Felda Global Ventures hit by Q1 pre-tax loss of RM70.35m May 24, 2016- See more at: 

Crude palm oil prices to average RM2,500 per tonne in 2016 - Felda Global CEO   By Reuters / Reuters   | May 24, 2016  KUALA LUMPUR (May 24): Malaysia's Felda Global Ventures chief executive Zakaria Arshad said on Tuesday crude palm oil prices will average RM2,500 per tonne in 2016, up from RM2,275 last year. Felda, which is the world's third-largest palm plantation operator, on Tuesday reported a first-quarter net

Palm oil to rise on El Nino as industry prepares for La Nina - Felda CEO by Reuters  24 May 2016

Chinese trade council opens office in Jakarta The Jakarta Post  Jakarta | Wed, May 18 2016

Palu KEK sees Rp 6.1t investment interest by Ruslan Sangadji  The Jakarta Post  Palu | May 19 2016 -- Thirty six companies have shown interest in investing in the KEK, with total investment value of Rp 6.1 trillion (US$455 million).  That includes seven firms interested in developing Rp 3.5 trillion worth of nickel and iron smelters. “There are other companies engaged in the agro-based industries, including rattan, fisheries, onion, rubber and cloves,” Central Sulawesi Governor Longki Djanggola said last week.....In addition, some companies have also signed letter of intents with the Palu administration pertaining to clean water and waste treatment. Six of them have acquired land that will be used as tapioca, coconut and cocoa processing zones. However, only publicly listed food giant Indofood Sukses Makmur has commenced construction. “I hope that after Indofood, other companies will follow,” Longki said.  Indofood plans to build a corn processing factory in the KEK to serve the ASEAN market.

NGOs call for mass boycott of palm oil giant IOI - A group of 22 non-government organisations has called on all consumer brands and palm oil traders to cut ties with IOI Group, adding to the Malaysian palm oil giant's reputational and economic troubles.  By Vaidehi Shah 13 May 2016

IOI Corp returns to profitability in 3Q with RM748.4m net profit By Chester Tay /   | May 18, 2016

RSPO – it’s hard to live with it BY HANIM ADNAN 14 May 2016

IOI Corp's Loders Croklaan, LCK Nutrition call off JV plan BY JOSEPH CHIN 19 May 2016 -- KUALA LUMPUR: IOI Corporation Bhd unit Loders Croklaan Group B.V. and Ireland's  LCK Nutrition Ltd have called off their joint venture which would have involved the development of the nutrition lipid Betapol. IOI Corp said on Thursday the agreement, which was entered into on June 23, 2015,  was for Loders Croklaan to subscribe for a stake in LCK Nutrition Ltd for US$25mil. Under the corporate exercise, the Betapol business (consisting business intellectual property, goodwill, contracts, sales book and records) would be trasferred from Loders Croklaan to LCK Nutrition for US$25mil. In the June 23, 2015 announcement to Bursa Malaysia, IOI Corp said Betapol, which is one of Loders Croklaan’s most groundbreaking innovations, is a palm oil-derived nutritional additive which is used to fortify infant milk powder globally.  The incorporation of LCK Nutrition and the subscription was for the formation of a 50:50 JV with a subsidi of Kerry Group Plc to develop and market the nutrition lipid Betapol business. 

Bumitama Agri’s profits bloom 26% to $23.58m in Q1 16 May 16

Equatorial Palm Oil widens H1 pretax loss By StockMarketWire | Mon, 16th May 2016 -- "The commitment by LPD to begin construction of the new 60 mt/hr mill at Palm Bay Estate confirms the Directors' views that Liberia can be a significant producer of crude palm oil in years to come.....  EPO fully engaged with High Carbon Stock ("HCS") assessment and committed to establish clear parameters, alongside stakeholders, for the development of new plantations..  MOU signed with villages on Palm Bay Estate delineating clear boundaries for development of oil palm and adhering to free, prior and informed consent, post period. 

Equatorial Palm Oil Reports Wider Interim Loss During First Half 16th May 2016

First Resources’ Q1 profits crash 78% to $6.86m by Singapore Business Review – May 16, 2016

A Quantum Leap with Genome Select - Sime Darby Plantation’s first step towards a 100% commercial replanting programme with genome research materials known as ‘Genome Select’. The projected yield benefits - an average yield of 9.9 metric tonnes of oil per hectare as a first 5 year average yield under the best environmental conditions

North Queensland cane farmers push Wilmar for sugar supply agreements QLD Country Hour By Lara Webster  19 May 2016 -- Rallying sugar prices have renewed frustrations for cane growers who still do not have contracts for the 2017 season in place.

White & Case Advises Wilmar Europe on Acquisition in Italy and Poland  16 MAY 2016   Press Release

Wilmar's quarterly profit rises despite market volatility  13th May 2016, by Jamie Day

KLK is example of growing from small to giant size company BY IDRIS JALA 16 May 2016

Golden Agri returns to profitability in Q1 MAY 14, 2016 - Stronger sales, better margins help palm oil producer turn around

UPDATE 2-Palm oil producers predict El Nino to hit 2016 output May 13, 2016  By Aradhana Aravindan * Olam CEO says cotton prices rangebound * Olam sees El Nino hits Indonesia, Malaysia palm oil output * Olam sees 2015/16 cocoa deficit as worst in 30 years * Golden Agri sees its palm output down 10-15 pct this year

How Does Golden Agri-Resources Ltd Stack Up Against United Plantations Berhad? By Stanley Lim Peir Shenq, CFA - May 17, 2016

Latest Earnings from Golden Agri-Resources Ltd: Earnings Soar Despite Lower Revenue y James Yeo - May 16, 2016

ew Felda Global Ventures group president confident of palm oil business profitability by year end By Melissa Goh, Malaysia Bureau Chief, Channel NewsAsia

Question marks over 'luxury condos bought by Felda unit' Alyaa Azhar     18 May 2016,

Felda’s million dollar luxury condo in Kuala Lumpur a shocker! By The Independent -  May 19, 2016

Zakaria makes his moves at FGV BY AFIQ ISA  14 May 2016

Fonterra PKE supplier banned after forest fires, dairy feed price may rise TOM PULLAR-STRECKER May 19 2016 -- The consequences of last year's massive forest fires in Indonesia finally look set to catch up with the Kiwi dairy industry. Fonterra will no longer be supplied with palm kernel expeller (PKE) from plantations owned by IOI Group, which is the second-largest palm plantation owner listed on the Malaysian stock market. The ban could increase the price of PKE, which has become an important supplementary feed for New Zealand cattle despite concerns over the environmental impact of its production.

Top palm oil producer sues green group over deforestation allegations - Malaysian palm giant, IOI, lost business after it was suspended from the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil’s certification scheme over deforestation allegations in Indonesia by Adam Vaughan 9 May 2016

Nestlé to cut all ties with IOI over palm oil action plan: 'It doesn’t go far enough' By David Burrows, 12-May-2016 --  Nestlé is cutting ties with palm oil supplier IOI. No new contracts will be awarded to the Malaysian firm and all existing ones will be “phased out” by the end of August, explained senior corporate spokesperson Nina Caren Kruchten in an email to FoodNavigator.

Selldown on IOI overdone, Maybank Research sees strong Q3 results 12 May 2016

Tomco Energy assessing West African palm oil venture 19 May 2016 -- Tomco says the palm oil opportunity has low capex costs and potential for cash flows starting in mid-2017.

Indofood first-quarter earnings increase May 6, 2016 - by World Grain Staff

Land rights at root of palm oil conflict in Liberia, campaigners say BY MATTHEW PONSFORD  May 6, 2016

FGV, Felda Group pullout from RSPO certs 'done in settlers' best interest' BY OOI TEE CHING - 9 MAY 2016 Read More :

FGV to list subsidiaries 'when the time is right' BY OOI TEE CHING - 12 MAY 2016

Media Release: FGV and MARA explores opportunities in Aerospace and Aviation Industry - See more at:

Wilmar Tumbles After Warning of Challenging Months Ahead by  Anuradha Raghu  May 11, 2016 -- Processing margins are pressured by gains in palm oil price. Wilmar least leveraged major producer to price increases

Indonesian Tycoons in Panama Papers 10 MAY, 2016 -- TEMPO.CO, Jakarta- The access to Panama Papers has been opened for public today. In the past year, 370 journalists from 76 countries - organized by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) - have been investigating 11.5 million data in the document. A number of Indonesian tycoons have been hiring a Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca to set up shell companies. The documents of Mossack Fonseca’s clients, known as the Panama Papers, list a number of Indonesian families, among others, Mochtar Riady family (ranked sixth in Forbes’ Indonesia’s richest list), Martua Sitorus-owner of Wilmar International Ltd, and Ciputra family....

FGV sets precedent with withdrawal from RSPO cert BY HANIM ADNAN  9 May 2016

Major milestone for Sime Darby BY P. ARUNA  9 May 2016

Super Seed Identified to Produce More Palm Oil Using Less Land  May 09, 2016 Robert Hii Sustainable Business Consultant

The path to sustainable palm oil By Jessica Cheam 12 May 2016 - Eco-Business editor Jessica Cheam sits down for a chat with Golden Agri-Resources managing director for sustainability, Agus Purnomo, on the company’s sustainability journey thus far.

FGV, Felda Group pullout from RSPO certs 'done in settlers' best interest' BY OOI TEE CHING - 9 MAY 2016

FGV, Felda Group pullout from RSPO certs 'done in settlers' best interest' BY OOI TEE CHING - 9 MAY 2016

Indonesia takes aim at palm oil after forest fires By Kiki Siregar, AFP May 2, 2016

Pressure Builds on Snack Food Giant PepsiCo to Drop Conflict Palm Oil April 29, 2016  Rainforest Action Network and SumOfUs help rally 100,000’s of people calling on PepsiCo to take meaningful action to halt deforestation and human rights abuses in its supply chain

PZ Cussons calls for global suppliers to set up in Nigeria May 4, 2016 by  Georgina Caldwell

Equatorial Palm Oil signs MOU with Liberian communities Josh White | Sharecast | 05 May, 2016

Analysts negative on FGV’s decision to withdraw RSPO certification  5 May 2016

Malaysia's Felda Global Ventures withdraws RSPO certificates from 58 mills May 3, 2016

Palm oil in Cameroon – ‘a blessing or a curse’ to small-scale farmers? 29 April 2016 / John C. Cannon As palm oil expands in Africa, researchers say more smallholders should be brought into the fold.

Wilmar scoops up small ICE May delivery in 5th straight purchase May 2, 2016

FGV needs three years to recertify 58 palm oil mills under RSPO May 5, 2016 Ronnie Teo

How effective will Indonesia’s palm oil permit freeze really be? 4 May 2016 / Mongabay Haze Beat Observers question the extent to which the newly declared moratorium, which also applies to mining licenses, can actually be enforced.

Golden Veroleum Dedicates Mini Oil Palm Mill in Sinoe County --  It is a joy for us to celebrate with the government and our partner communities as we dedicate our mill,” said Rothschild. The GVL Director says a similar project will be replicated in Grand Kru, stating that today is the mini mill; in 2017 GVL will be commissioning its main mill, which is 15 times larger than the mini mill and is currently under construction in Tarjuowon, Sinoe County. ...Rothschild concluded by saying that the mini mill was constructed after Vice PresidentJoseph Boakai visited Indonesia and appealed for it, with the goal of not letting the palm spoil...

UNMIL Drawdown: Bassa Residents, Police Sweat Over Low Support

Bumitama Agri’s FFB yield plummets 24% to 3.1t/ha - Last year’s El Nino is still hurting output. 25 Apr 16

Sime Darby sees higher profit with new genome super palms BY P. ARUNA 5 April 2016

Sime Darby eyes 15% better palm oil yield By Ahmad Naqib Idris / The Edge Financial Daily   | April 26, 2016

11 Sime Darby Protestors Charged With Criminal Facilitation April 22, 2016 Cholo Brooks Liberia

Golden Agri-Resources reveals plan for 'fully traceable' palm oil by 2020, Madeleine Cuff 26 April 2016

Indonesia's Sinar Mas Agro expects 15 pct decline in 2016 output Apr 25, 2016

When palm oil companies get banned, are they willing to change? Blogpost by Kiki Taufik - 25 April, 2016

Media Release: FGV Expands Transportation Business in Sarawak 28 April 2016,

Red flags for FGV's China venture By Yen Ne Foo / The Edge Malaysia   | April 12, 2016

Malaysian palm oil giant loses 7 more customers over RSPO suspension 11 April 2016 / Philip Jacobson -- Hershey’s, Yum! Brands and Johnson & Johnson are among the latest to defect.

Unilever palm oil supplier must suspend all plantation expansion to save reputation - As buyers such as Unilever and Mars stop doing business with suspended Malaysian company IOI, will it lead to strong action or more weak promises? Kiki Taufik 9 April 2016

Equatorial Palm Oil Starts To Bear Fruit As It Plans On Building Mill  13th Apr 2016

President Koroma Commissions The Largest Oil Mill In West Africa Built In Sahn Malen, Pujehun District By Socfin Agricultural Company pril 13, 2016 5:11 pm, Posted by Amadu Daramy -- President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma on Saturday 9th April formally commissioned the largest palm oil production mill built by Socfin Agricultural Company in Sahn Malen Chiefdom, Pujehun District....the Socfin palm oil farm is not just the largest in the country, but also in West Africa, and that the company has invested over US$130 Million, planting 12, 319 hectre of hybrid oil palm trees and building a mill currently with a 30t/hr of Fresh Fruit Bunch capacity and with capacity to increase to 60t/hr.... company has employed over 2,460 seasonal workers to support plantation operations plus 1,091 permanent workers all totaling 3,551 workers, and most of these workers he said are from the surrounding communities within the company’s operational areas....

FGV aborts plan to buy 55% stake in Zhong Ling BY M. HAFIDZ MAHPAR 9 April 2016

Top firms 'supplied with illegal palm oil' APR 15, 2016 -- Study: Fruit grown in conservation areas being sent to local mills supplying the firms...The study by Eyes on the Forest (EoF), a coalition of Indonesian non-governmental organisations, underscores the complexity of tracing all sources of palm oil. The findings also challenge the zero-deforestation commitments of leading palm oil firms....  

Sime Darby Destruction Scare Investors, As Local Authorities Call On Gov’t To Remove Illegal Squatters April 12, 2016 Cholo Brooks Liberia -- Recent action on the part of some residents of Grand Cape Mount and Bomi Counties to  burn down major parts of the Sime Darby Plantation in the area destroying several parts of the plantation on an report that a lady was missing from the hospital of the company is reportedly scaring investors. For their part, local authorities of Bomi County told reporters on Monday   that the arson attack on Sime Darby Plantation is a threat to the economy and the investment climate as a whole.

Margarine producer fined R35m for anticompetitive behaviour BY FIFI PETERS ,  14 APRIL 2016 -- ON top of the R35m fine margarine producer Sime Darby Hudson Knight has to pay for anticompetitive behaviour, the company may also face being monitored to ensure that it complies with further remedial action handed down to it for contravening the competition act.... Sime Darby Hudson Knight makes and sells bakery fats and frying oils. In 2014, the Competition Commission raided its Boksburg offices as well as those of Durban-based Unilever during its investigations into restrictive price behaviour in the industry. It found that Sime Darby Hudson Knight had entered into an agreement that precluded it from supplying certain pack sizes of edible fats and oils to a number of customer channels. The agreement meant that it could not supply retail outlets, and other areas where Unilever was active.... As part of the Commission’s remedial action, which includes the R35m fine, Sime Darby Hudson Knight agreed to supply the retail sector with its products and to build a new warehousing facility to accommodate this..... 

Rain forest advocacy group installs 15-foot banner on LIC Pepsi-Cola sign to protest palm oil  By Angela Matua  /  / Monday, April 25, 2016

BREAKING: Protesters Scale Iconic NYC Pepsi Sign to drop 100’ “Cut Conflict Palm Oil” Banner by JESSICA SERRANTE

BRIEF-Indonesian instant noodle firm Indofood Q1 profit up 25 pct  Apr 28, 2016

Palm oil industry fumes as Indonesia gets tough on forest fires  JAKARTA | BY BERNADETTE CHRISTINA MUNTHE AND FERGUS JENSEN Apr 21, 2016 -- The president's suggestion of doubling Indonesian palm growers' productivity is easier said than done," said Togar Sitanggang, corporate affairs manager at Musim Mas, one of Indonesia's biggest palm oil producers. "The problem with productivity has been there for years," he said, adding it was also unclear who would pay for the right seeds. "There is no budget for this."  Big players, such as PT Sinar Mas Agro Resources, Astra Agro Lestari, Wilmar International, may be able to raise output on their current holdings, but it will be tough for smallholders to do so, industry sources said. That could lead to layoffs as the harder-hit smallholders, which account for 40 percent of Indonesia's output, are forced to sell land to bigger firms looking to expand, they said. 
"Our reputation as the biggest palm oil producer will be history," said Eddy Martono, an official at the Indonesian Palm Oil Association.

Indonesia`s planned moratorium on oil palm concessions lauded 21 April 2016 -- Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodos announcement last week about a plan to impose a moratorium on new permits for oil palm plantations has been lauded by some parties, particularly NGOs. The moratorium policy is aimed at preserving Indonesias tropical rain forest, the worlds third largest after forests in Amazon and Congo.  The deforestation rate in the country, however, is very fast since land is being converted, particularly for plantation, and also due to forest fires. "There will be a moratorium on oil palm and mining," the head of state, popularly known as Jokowi, stated at the launch of a National Movement for Plants and Wild Animals protection in conjunction with the World Forest Day, in Karya Island of Thousand Islands, Jakarta, on April 14. The president said entrepreneurs and small business holders will not be allowed to expand land for oil palm concessions.... 

Indonesia March palm oil output set to fall for seventh month By Fransiska Nangoy and Bernadette Christina Munthe, Reuters on Apr 19, 2016

Wilmar International says it recognises issues raised in Indonesia NGO alliance report on illegal palm oil APR 15, 2016 -- Singapore-based Wilmar International has said that it recognises the challenges raised in an investigation by an Indonesian green coalition that found palm oil from illegal plantations in Sumatra had tainted the global supply chains of Wilmar and four other top palm oil companies. Wilmar is the top global player in the palm oil sector, producing and trading almost half the world's palm oil.

Australia - Wilmar and growers start talks on 2017 cane supply agreement  21 April 2016

Wong & Partners, ZICOlaw star in Sime Darby’s 3 billion ringgit sukuk offering By Eileen Ang|  Apr 20, 2016

Grim forecast for paper giant’s wood supply raises deforestation fears 22 April 2016 / Jonathan Vit -- Asia Pulp & Paper has promised to stop cutting forests, but a massive new mill has green groups concerned the conglomerate will default on its commitment.

NGOs and oil-palm growers team up to help orangutans, but progress is slow 21 April 2016 / Melati Kaye Impatient with industry-wide efforts, some NGOs are working directly with companies to protect orangutans on oil-palm plantations in Borneo, concession by concession.

Indonesia to probe palm producers' environmental pledge: competition watchdog JAKARTA | BY BERNADETTE CHRISTINA MUNTHE April 14, 2016

25 April 2016: Astra Agro rights issue and the deflation-debt context, MP Evans strategy, Indonesia debt outlook 

Editor's note: A bigger corporate news update pending

Astra Agro launches rights issue to cut dollar debts by Anton HermansyahAnton Hermansyah April 12 2016

As profits retreat, Astra Agro halts dividends by Anton HermansyahAnton Hermansyah April 11 2016

Bloomberg - palm oil's debt and deflation context

  • Palm Oil's Bad Rap Gets Worse By Andy Mukherjee and David Fickling. Mar 2, 2016 ... Palm oil, that ubiquitous liquid found in everything from shampoo and soap to lipstick, noodles and bread, is hoping for bad weather. But a supply squeeze alone won't be enough to deliver it from the twin problems of debt and deflation. ... Following a downgrade by Standard & Poor's last week, Moody's on Tuesday cut its rating on Malaysian planter Sime Darby by one notch, and warned of further action if the company fails to deleverage. Sime Darby, which is still struggling to digest its 2014 debt-financed acquisition of a palm-oil cultivator in Papua New Guinea, saw operating income from plantations dwindle to $34 million last quarter, a fraction of what the business used to make before the global commodities rout....Sime Darby is hardly alone. Palm-oil profits have collapsed amid heightened global scrutiny of the industry's environmental impact. Indonesia's Astra Agro Lestari now earns a return on capital of a little more than 5 percent, compared with almost 30 percent in 2012. Malaysian planter and refiner IOI Corp. has net debt that's more than three times Ebitda, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A significant amount of its borrowings are denominated in U.S. dollars and S&P says liabilities will rise further this year as IOI acquires capacity in Europe to turn palm oil into ingredients used in food, cosmetics and personal care..... Bad weather can at best be a short-term palliative for palm oil, but believing it can also be a cure for lackluster demand, price deflation and elevated debt is wishful thinking....
  • IOI Oleochemicals Buys Oleochemical Operations of German Firm  21/09/2015, Corporate Communications ... IOI Oleochemical Industries Berhad (“IOI Oleo”) is pleased to announce that its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, Alstersee 217. V V GmbH (to be renamed as IOI Oleo GmbH in the future) has reached a conditional asset purchase agreement with Cremer Oleo GmbH & Co KG to acquire Cremer Oleo’s entire oleochemicals manufacturing business in Germany for €89.4 million or RM433.3 million on 9 September 2015....

MP Evans could regret corralling its interests solely in palm oil by Kate Burgess April 24, 2016... Longevity might not bring sagacity for veteran company moving away from diversification... When the Queen was a girl, MP Evans was one of about 300-or-so plantation businesses in London. They made up as much as a tenth of the UK stock market.... Now MP Evans, headquartered in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, home to serried ranks of elephant feet umbrella stands, is almost the last one left. Surviving this long is no mean feat. MP Evans has had to transform along the way from a rubber and tea broker into a palm oil and beef agri-conglomerate....Last week, the UK company’s shares jumped 26p to 440p on talk of a £220m sale of North Australian Pastoral Company, the Aussie cattle group in which MP Evans owns 34 per cent. It would mark MP Evans exit from beef. Last year Peter Hadsley-Chaplin, chairman and son of a former chairman, sold a 31,000 hectare cattle-fattening station in Queensland, using the proceeds to pay down debt and expand palm oil acreage in Indonesia.....The board has made clear that cash from selling NAPco would go the same way. It wants to turn MP Evans from a smallish palm oil producer with about 42,000 hectares into one that can compete against the likes of Sime Darby, which has about 600,000 hectares....High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email to buy additional rights.

Recently Convicted Bank Swindler Commits Suicide - A banker in Medan, North Sumatra who was recently convicted of banking crimes was found dead in his home on Wednesday (20/04) just a day before he was scheduled to be transferred to prison. By : Arnold H Sianturi | on April 21, 2016...  Darul, the former marketing business group head of the Medan branch of Bank BNI, was found guilty of costing the bank Rp 129 billion ($10 million) when he approved a loan filed by a palm oil businessman using fake collateral. The businessman, Boy Hermansyah, disappeared with the money. Boy is now on the run from police....

Indonesia's Warped Debt Mirror By Andy Mukherjee Apr 18, 2016.. .Creditors are receiving ugly haircuts in Indonesia's debt salon.Now that the nation's China-fueled commodity boom has gone bust, Indonesia's legal system is busy running a sharp razor across what was once a luxuriant crop of collateral: Standard Chartered's claim on a $1 billion loan to mining tycoon Samin Tan was recently thrown out by a local court on the grounds that a foreign advance against a coal mine -- a national asset -- was illegal. AVERAGE ONE-YEAR DEFAULT RISK OF JUNK-RATED COMPANIES IN INDONESIA0.87%.... But as bad as the reflection in the mirror may be, leading to spurious comparisons with the aftermath of the 1997 Asian crisis, the present situation is very different in one key respect: The nation's currency isn't in free fall. That's provided a cushion to share prices and ensured the default risk of Indonesia's publicly traded companies is receding faster than counterparts in several other emerging markets... The risk that these Indonesian firms won't be able to meet their obligations is also down by about a third from the highest point this year. Few other large emerging markets have seen such a steep improvement in credit quality.... Things could take a turn for the worse if the Federal Reserve presses on with interest-rate increases, putting the rupiah under renewed pressure and making it difficult for Indonesian borrowers to refinance their dollar-denominated debt.Corporate stress could also intensify if coal prices remain subdued, a nascent recovery in palm-oil prices proves short-lived, or President Joko Widodo's much-vaunted infrastructure push proves a dud. Among large Indonesian debtors, highway operator's Jasa Marga's creditworthiness has worsened this year, Bloomberg data show....For now, though, the rewards from monetary easing outweigh the risks. Bank Indonesia cut interest rates every month in the first quarter of this year. The central bank will adopt a new policy-rate benchmark in August, effectively pruning borrowing costs by as much as 100 basis points, according to Natixis.

Top Southeast Asian Bond House Sees `Robust' Deal Pipeline by Chanyaporn Chanjaroen  Pooi Koon Chong  April 15, 2016... Malayan Banking Bhd., Malaysia’s top lender, is anticipating bond sales driven by big Southeast Asian infrastructure projects to offset a downturn in fees from sluggish regional equity markets.... The biggest deal Maybank handled this year was a 2.2 billion ringgit ($565 billion) perpetual sukuk for palm-oil producer Sime Darby Bhd., for which the bank is the sole principal adviser, lead arranger and manager, it said in a March 24 statement. Islamic bonds, or sukuk, are debt instruments that comply with Shariah law, which prohibits the payment of interest....

29 Mar 2016: Zakaria Arshad appointed new CEO of FGV 

Zakaria Arshad appointed new CEO of FGV 29 March 2016 | MYT 1:09 PM; ...Zakaria, a son of a settler from FELDA Palong 1, Negeri Sembilan, has served FELDA Group for the past 32 years since 1984 including FELDA Rubber Industries Sdn Bhd, Malaysia Cocoa Manufacturing Sdn Bhd, FELDA Rubber Products Sdn Bhd and FELDA Marketing Services Sdn Bhd. “On behalf of FGV Group, we would like to thank Emir for his invaluable contribution especially on charting the transformation framework to pave the way for FGV to be an important global powerhouse today,” Isa said....

15 Mar 2016:  FGV now says it is deliberating on change of CEO, one of two China deals held up?

Editor's note: Last major news review was done 22 Feb 2016. 

FGV now says it is deliberating on change of CEO By Meena Lakshana /   | March 14, 2016 KUALA LUMPUR (March 14): In an about turn, Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) said it is now deliberating on the change of its chief executive officer (CEO), which is currently held by Datuk Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah. "The board of FGV will deliberate on the appointment/change of FGV CEO and will make the requisite announcement immediately upon the receipt of the nomination letter from the relevant authority," it said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia today. FGV had on Friday issued a statement, saying Emir will continue to serve as its CEO and president, after local media reported that he may be replaced next month.....In a separate filing with Bursa, FGV said the terms and conditions of its two sale and purchase agreements (SPA 1 and SPA 2) regarding the proposed acquisition of a 55% stake in Zhong Ling Nutril-Oil Holdings Ltd for RM976.25 million were made at "arm's length and in the ordinary course of commercial negotiations"... FGV noted that however, the application to one of the regulators was cancelled pending more information on the investment from the group. "To date, no subsequent application has been submitted to the said regulator," it said.

RM618,000 to defend 1MDB and Red-Shirt rally, says Salleh BY MARTIN CARVALHO, LOSHANA K SHAGAR, NICHOLAS CHENG, andD. KANYAKUMARI; THE Government spent RM618,000 to print books to defend criticisms against 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and the Red-Shirt rally. Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Dr Salleh Said Keruak, in a written reply to Teo Kok Seong (DAP-Rasah), said the books were published to “present facts” in light of the highly-politicised climate surrounding both the state sovereign fund and the racially-charged gathering. A total of RM606,250 was used to print 125,000 copies of 1MDB: Siapa Kata Tidak Dijawab in Malay (100,000 copies), Tamil (15,000) and English (10,000), he added. Dr Salleh Said said the Department of Special Affairs also printed 2,000 Red-Shirt Rally books costing RM12,000.
Note: Felda settlers were reported to be significant participants in the Red Shirt Rally. Journalists also reported that many rally goers were bussed in and were not aware of the purpose of their trip to KL.

Alert form a reader: An FGV mill has been suspended by the RSPO based on the WSJ and subsequent NGO complaints on alleged migrant labour issues - 7th March 2016 - RSPO Complaints Panel reviewed the independent assessment reports and decided to suspend Pasoh palm oil mill owned by Felda until full clearence is given based on the re-audits:

22 Feb 2016: CIMB on Wilmar results briefing - concerns over its unwinding of carry trade proved unfounded, Indonesia biodiesel benefits its tropical oils division, Wilmar and First Resources are key beneficiaries in biodiesel. IOI downstream EBIT drops - AmBank.

Editor's note: Please review CIMB and AmBank reports. Addition of plantation subsidy sham article 14 Feb.

Subsidy sham: Fertilizers reach Indonesia plantations, not small farmers by SUKOHARJO/JAKARTA, INDONESIA | BY RANDY FABI AND BERNADETTE CHRISTINA MUNTHE Feb 14, 2016; Millions of dollars worth of subsidized fertilizers meant for small Indonesian farmers are being sold to big plantations, such as palm oil and rubber, at huge profits by state-backed retailers, a government report viewed by Reuters shows.... According to the yet-to-be-published government report, parts of which were seen by Reuters, as much as 30 percent of subsidized fertilizers were misallocated in some areas of Indonesia last year. Investigators with the ombudsman found subsidized fertilizer being sold at as high as 2,500 rupiah ($0.1854) per kg in 2015, around 40 percent above the state-set price but below the non-subsidized 4,200 rupiah that plantations must pay.... "The kiosks are selling fertilizer to plantations and not to the small farmers," said an investigator, who declined to be named as the report, based on data from five key rice-growing districts on three different islands, had not been finalised.... 

Wilmar International CIMB 21 Feb 2016: Key takeaways from results briefing
The key takeaways from Wilmar’s results briefing are: (1) concerns over its unwinding of carry trade proved unfounded; (2) rice and flour businesses in China have turned profitable; (3) higher biodiesel consumption in Indonesia will benefit its tropical oils division; (4) no plans to venture into property in the immediate term; and (5) keen on M&A at the right price.... Oilseeds and grains post strong profits. Tropical oils earnings slumped to its lowest since 2007. Final core net profit 3-4% above due to higher oilseeds and grain earnings....

IOI Corporation CIMB 21 Feb 2016 - Plantation and derivatives gains boost 2Q, 1H core net profit above, making up 64% of our and 58% of consensus’ full-year. Better performance due to higher plantation and fair value gain on derivatives....

Indonesia makes progress in biodiesel usage CIMB 21 Feb 2016 - This is positive for CPO prices, and we estimate the CPO Fund could support up to  3.19m kls of biodiesel in 2016, higher than the usage of 863,000 kls in 2015. Wilmar and First Resources are key beneficiaries of Indonesia’s biodiesel program.

IOI CORPORATION (IOI MK,IOI.KL) by AmBank 22 February 2016: Benefited from fair value gains on derivatives; ... Excluding the fair value changes of RM256.4mil in 2QFY16, IOI’s manufacturing EBIT would have plunged by 40.9%
QoQ to RM112.2mil in 2QFY16... IOI said that the oleochemical and specialty fats units in the manufacturing division suffered lower operating margins. IOI also opined that the outlook for the refining sub-segment is challenging as refining margins have turned negative. We believe that this is due to the competition from the refiners in Indonesia, which benefited from the imposition of the export levy in July 2015.

20 Feb 2016:  Major news review done. Wilmar net profit suffer weak palm oil performance, RAM lowers Golden Agri's RM5b debt note rating, Felda settlers' bauxite problem

Editor's note: News review pre-Christmas to 17 Feb completed in that segment. And below is this week's news alerts on plantation corporation.

Wilmar's sales volume rises but earnings fall 18 February 2016

Wilmar reports slump in Q4 profit Net earnings falls 16% due to weak commodity prices, despite sales growth by Chong Koh Ping FEB 19, 2016

Wilmar 2015 Net Profit Falls To 8-Year Low on Weak Palm Oil Performance  19 Feb 2016

RAM lowers Golden Agri unit’s RM5b debt note rating  17 February 2016; .....the rating for Golden Assets International Finance Ltd’s IMTN programme of up to RM5bil (2012/2027) was lowered from AA3(s) to A1(s). RAM Ratings also retained the negative outlook on the rating. Golden Assets is a funding conduit owned by GAR. “The downgrade is premised on the continued deterioration of 
Golden Agri’s credit metrics as a result of softer crude palm oil (CPO) prices and elevated debt levels,” it said. ....

KL Kepong Q1 earnings surge to nearly RM800m 17 February 2016

IOI is expected to return to the black By Maybank IB Research / The Edge Financial Daily   | February 15, 2016

SGX: Year-to-Date Highlights Of Singapore's Biggest Consumer Plays Date 16/02/2016; Among Singapore’s 30 largest capitalised consumer plays, the 15 Consumer Discretionary Stocks averaged a 5.7% decline, while the 15 Consumer Staple stocks averaged a 3.5% decline. Among the 15 Consumer Staple stocks, Agriculture Products performed the strongest in the year-to-date, with Wilmar International, Golden Agri-Resources, First Resources and Bumitama Agri all gaining, averaging a 4.3% total return. CPO prices have gained 5.0% since end-2015 vs. the Thomson Reuters CRB Agriculture Producers Index declining 9.3%.

Tabung Haji mum on claims it lost nearly RM1b from Felda Global Ventures investment February 17, 2016 - See more at:

Felda fails to cite PKR lawyer, settler for contempt of court 19 February 2016 - See more at:

Bleak future for oil palm settlers due to bauxite mining 17 February 2016; Oil palm plantations at Felda Bukit Goh, Bukit Kuantan, Bukit Sago and Bukit Nerang face a bleak future following the mining of bauxite in those areas because turning oil palm plantations into bauxite mining areas affects the soil. An environmentalist said bauxite mining in the area produces chromium, which is poisonous and could damage oil palm trees in the aforementioned Felda areas... Maketab expressed concern over Felda settlers who bargained their land for the promise of a quick buck. "Those who sell their land, do reap rewards amounting to millions of Ringgit from bauxite businessmen ... the money will not last for generations to come. "Many have lost their lands and been cheated off their money by bauxite businessmen, the money promised by illegal bauxite miners to the settlers is gone for good and their plantation is at a great loss," said the former Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) president.

Felda to decide on settler aid after bauxite moratorium ends  Bernama   19 Feb 2016

17 Feb 2016: News review in progress - Sime cutting debt load, Sime bond ratings, IOI Corp, Felda's Indonesian deal, Wilmar-Singapore GLC JVs, Australia minister "gets a dressing down" by Singapore exec over Queensland sugar tussle

Editor's note: This news review is broadly grouped by company news and goes back several weeks. News review pre-Christmas to 17 Feb completed.

Bunge Plunges After Profit Disappoints Amid `Tough' Markets by Shruti Singh  February 12, 2016

Sime Darby

Malaysia’s Sime Darby May Sell $500 Million in Real-Estate Assets- Conglomerate is seeking to cut its debt load By YANTOULTRA NGUI in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and P.R. VENKAT in Singapore Feb. 16, 2016

MARC assigns initial rating to Sime Darby’s sukuk scheme 11 February 2016 Malaysian Rating Corporation Bhd (MARC) has assigned a preliminary rating of AAIS to Sime Darby Bhd's Perpetual Subordinated Sukuk Programme of up to RM3 billion. It also affirmed the ratings of MARC-1ID/AAAID on the existing RM4.5 billion Islamic Medium-Term Note (IMTN) Programme and RM500 million Islamic Commercial Paper/Islamic Medium-Term Note (ICP/IMTN) Programme with a combined limit of RM4.5 billion. In a statement, the rating agency said the company's rating outlook for the Perpetual Sukuk was negative, consistent with the revised outlook on the ICP/IMTN to negative from stable. - See more at:

Sime's RM3bil perpetual bond issue depends on its standalone rating BY P. ARUNA 12 February 2016

Sime Darby’s RM3b sukuk assigned AA-IS rating, negative outlook By Danial Idraki /   | February 11, 2016

Selling off 50% stake in liquid terminal unit in China KUALA LUMPUR (NewsRise) February 2, 2016-- Sime Darby, the world's largest palm oil producer by acreage, said it is selling half of its stake in wholly-owned Chinese liquid terminal unit for 60.85 million yuan ($9.25 million) to Hong Kong's Dragon Crown Group Holdings. The proposed sale will allow Sime Darby to partner Dragon Crown, which specializes in storage and handling of liquid chemical products, to jointly manage the Weifang Liquid Terminal in Shandong province of China, the company said in an exchange filing...

Sime HK to sell 50% equity in Weifang Sime Darby 30 January 2016

Sime Darby set to be major rubber producer, plans to develop 100,000ha of rubber estates in Malaysia, Indonesia and Liberia by Cholo Brooks on Tue, 01/19/2016

Scrutiny on Sime Darby’s rating BY AFIQ ISA 16 January 2016

Sime set to be major rubber producer BY HANIM ADNAN 19 January 2016

UPDATE 1-Sime Darby says dry weather could lower palm oil output Jan 13, 2016

Wahab is no longer Sime Darby COO By Supriya Surendran / The Edge Financial Daily   | January 12, 2016  KUALA LUMPUR: Tan Sri Dr Abd Wahab Maskan, 65, has ceased to be the chief operating officer (COO) of Sime Darby Bhd, with effect from Dec 31, 2015, due to his health and medical condition.

30 workers flee fire at food oil processing factory DEC 20, 2015 SINGAPORE - Thirty workers fled a fire at a food oil processing factory at Jalan Boon Lay on Sunday afternoon. The blaze at Sime Darby Edible Products Limited involved an unused storage tank measuring about 10m in diameter and 2m in height, according to the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF)

Felda / FGV

FGV on expansion mode BY AFIQ ISA 13 February 2016

Felda: From humble agency to conglomerate BY ZAIDI ISHAM ISMAIL - 14 JANUARY 2016 Read More :

FGV upbeat on 2016 prospects BY GOH THEAN HOWE - 4 JANUARY 2016 Read More :

Malaysia's Felda to re-attempt Indonesian deal with unlisted unit -sources By Eveline Danubrata and Emily Chow Feb 11, 2016 * Earlier Felda plan to buy $680 mln stake was heavily criticised * Felda to now use unlisted unit to acquire the stake -sources * Felda now seeking to cut price by as much as 30 pct -sources...

FGV, Felda close to getting 30% discount for Eagle High By Jose Barrock / The Edge Malaysia   | February 8, 2016; This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on January 25 - 31, 2016.   PUBLIC-listed Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) and its parent, the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda), are understood to be close to securing a 30% discount to the initial price tag of US$680 million 

Indonesia's Eagle High offers 15% discount to Malaysia's FGV BY LEONG HUNG YEE 1 February 2016

TPPA good for Felda, better returns for settlers by  Bernama  4 Feb 2016 Isa, who is also Member of Parliament for Jempol, said Felda would not be affected by the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and the interests of its settlers were guaranteed.

No income, ruined land as Felda settlers count cost of bauxite ban BY YASMIN RAMLAN AND DIYANA IBRAHIM 25 January 2016 - See more at:

New FGV-Eagle High deal talks to conclude by March 20 January 2016 - See more at:

Felda Investment set for further expansion 16 January 2016 - See more at:

Felda settlers in Sabah receive titles after 20-year wait January 16, 2016 - See more at:

Anti-bauxite group offers legal service to cheated settlers BY MUZLIZA MUSTAFA  16 January 2016 - See more at:

Felda schemes a legacy of Tun Razak January 13, 2016 - See more at:

Miners threaten violence BY QISHIN TARIQ 11 January 2016

Bukit Goh settlers back bauxite mining ban 14 January 2016

Researcher: Long-term exposure to bauxite dust can lead to Alzheimer  6 January 2016


Yuan Merchants By Andy Mukherjee Jan 12, 2016 The most daringly notorious commodity merchant in history raised an army, waged wars, plundered at will, sold opium to China, gave spectacular returns to shareholders, caused at least 30 European banks to collapse and was itself bailed out by taxpayers.Thankfully, today's commodity traders are nothing like the East India Company. But even these businesses have ways of making and losing money that occasionally show a fleeting glimpse of that buccaneering spirit..... Take Wilmar International, whose shares have tumbled more than 50 percent since early 2012..... analyst Nirgunan Tiruchelvam rates the stock a sell and has a target price about 35 percent lower than its current market value. He says half of the palm-oil and soybean trader's net profit in the first nine months of 2015 came from finance income, which was at least in part driven by investing low-cost U.S. dollar funds into high-yielding Chinese currency. That carry trade, which has got nothing to do with commodities, is now unwinding, thanks to a wobbly yuan exchange rate. Meanwhile, the company has almost $5 billion in outstanding bonds and loans that it has to repay or refinance by the end of 2021, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A Wilmar spokeswoman said it's inaccurate to characterize the company's exposure to yuan as a carry trade.... Chalk it up to serendipity then, but isn't it nice to have billions of dollars in debt and yet be able to post positive net interest income? That, however, is what financiers do. The whole point of buying shares in a commodity trader is not to replicate the returns from an investment bank, but to acquire claims on a less risky earnings stream than what one could hope to get from a miner, oil explorer or cultivator. During a downturn, a Wilmar, Noble Group or Olam -- all three of which are listed in Singapore -- ought  o be able to demonstrate they can effectively hedge against a rout in raw-material prices.Yet that's not what the records show. Their aggregate earnings volatility over the past five years is hardly any different from the jumpiness in global mining companies' profit....

Wilmar eyes top spot in sugar trading 15 January 2016

JV with Wilmar signals SATS’ take-off beyond Singapore’s shores: analysts, 05 Feb 16; It’s heading towards China. While being relatively small, analysts said SATS’ 60-40 joint venture with Wilmar is the first step as the airline services firm continues to broaden its focus outside of Singapore. According to analysts from UOB Kay Hian, the JV has scope for expansion, as it would be able to tap onto SATS & BRF’s favourable reputations as premier food producer and distributor, while tapping onto Wilmar’s retail distribution network in China. - See more at:

Wilmar enters into JV with Singapore Food Industries to supply food in China By Amy Tan /   | January 22, 2016  SINGAPORE (Jan 22): Wilmar International’s unit, Yihai Kerry Investments, has entered into two conditional joint venture agreements (JVAs) with Singapore Food Industries (SFI) to supply food to the China market. SFI is a unit of ground-handling and in-flight catering service provider SATS. Yihai a...

Adani Wilmar launches Fortune VIVO by Neha Tyagi, ET Bureau Feb 1, 2016, MUMBAI: Adani Wilmar, manufacturer and distributor of cooking oils, launched India's first diabetes care oil by the name Fortune VIVO on Monday. Targeted at the growing health conscious community of the country, the cooking oil helps in controlling type II diabetes and reduces and maintains blood sugar levels. Along with diabetes, the oil is also effective in reducing high blood pressure, hyperglycemia and hypercholesterolemia

Are Wilmar, IndoAgri about to benefit from a tightening supply of sugar? By Michelle Teo /   | February 5, 2016

Trade minister criticised over Queensland sugar regulation Feb 9 2016; Trade Minister Andrew Robb has been warned that Australia has damaged its reputation as an investment destination following a decision by the Queensland Parliament to effectively re-regulate the nation's $2 billion sugar industry. Sources told The Australian Financial Review that during a recent trade mission to Singapore, Mr Robb was given a dressing down by an executive from Singapore-based agribusiness giant, Wilmar International, which operates eight sugar mills in Queensland. On the sidelines of an investment meeting to drum up business for Australia, Mr Robb was told the sugar decision had raised concerns about the volatility of protectionist domestic politics and had harmed Australia's reputation as an investment location..... Wilmar, along with other international sugar millers with operations in Queensland, is stepping up efforts to reverse the legislation which was passed in December by the Queensland Liberal-National Party Opposition with the support of independents. The Thai-based Mitr Phol has four mills and China's COFCO has one mill. .... 

Wilmar wins Federal Court challenge against Queensland Sugar Limited as marketing dispute continues QLD Country Hour By David Sparkes 1 Feb 2016; Sugar milling company Wilmar has won a Federal Court battle against Queensland Sugar Limited, the industry-owned company that markets 85 per cent of the nation's raw sugar.

Cane growers anxious over wait for contracts by Lucy Smith | 5th Feb 2016; CANEGROWERS Queensland chairman Paul Schembri says some Mackay growers are "anxiously" waiting to sign next year's contracts with milling company Wilmar. Mr Schembri said the delay was due to Wilmar's opposition to the Sugar Industry (Real Choice in Marketing) Amendment Act, which passed through State Parliament in December. "Normally growers would have certainty two or three years ahead that contracts are in place," Mr Schembri said. "In this circumstance there is nothing in place for 2017. The clock is up and running, and for the growers, they need some certainty." Mr Schembri said Wilmar should "respect" the sugar bill, which gave cane growers more say in sugar marketing. "Queensland growers will not be bullied by companies who want to impose their marketing will on farmers," he said....

Landry seeks update on a ‘sugar war’ 4th Feb 2016; Ms Landry met with Canegrowers Australia CEO Dan Galligan and Chairman Paul Schembri for an update of the plight of local sugar growers and their battle against Singapore giant Wilmar. The issue is over sugar marketing and contract issues. "I am behind local farmers who employ local people and support our local towns and communities like Sarina and Mackay," Ms Landry said. "I am informed that Wilmar's behavior and treatment of local Mum and Dad cane growers is a disgrace. While foreign investment is important to Australia, it should not be allowed as a bullying tactic against growers....

Aurizon signs sugar haulage contract with Wilmar 20th Jan 2016

Aurizon signs sugar and molasses haulage contract with Wilmar By FoodProcessing Staff  21 January, 2016

The No Deforestation Revolution: Two Years In  01/21/2016  Glenn Hurowitz Senior Fellow, Center for International Policy

Policy Implementation Progress Reports; In December 2013, Wilmar announced its integrated No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation Policy that aims to advance an environmentally and socially responsible palm oil industry. We provide quarterly updates during the first year of implementation and welcome feedback from stakeholders...

Wilmar's zero-deforestation update gets mixed reviews - The world's biggest palm oil company has issued a two-year update on its zero deforestation efforts, with progress on traceability, engaging suppliers to adopt better practices, and greater transparency. But more needs to be done, say green groups. By Vaidehi Shah, 25 January 2016

World's largest palm oil trader criticised for lack of progress on deforestation - Wilmar claims it has made ‘significant progress’ but campaigners and experts say more is needed to prevent forest clearance or human rights abuses.  Villagers shrouded by haze on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.  Supported by: RSPO. By Tess Riley 26 January 2016

Global Palm Oil Giant Wilmar International Misses Deadline To Cut Conflict Palm Oil January 21, 2016

Agravis 'secures supply' in palm expellers through stake in Wilmar subsidiary By Jane Byrne, 25-Jan-2016 German agribusiness cooperative, Agravis, has bought a 33% shareholding in a German palm products and animal feed trading house.

Delta Wilmar plans expansion in B2C segment 25.01.2016 According to Mr. Dhruba Charan Panda, chairman of the board of "Delta Wilmar CIS", Wilmar company plans further expansion in Ukraine.

Adani Wilmar looks to gain with grain post success with oil by V RISHI KUMAR Indo-Singaporean JV scouting for rice mills in south India ...

Germany's Agravis buys stake in palm product trader from Wilmar Jan 14, 2016 German agricultural commodities cooperative Agravis said on Thursday it had bought a 33 percent shareholding in German palm products and animal feed trading house H. Boegel from Singapore-listed commodities group Wilmar International Ltd. The move will give Agravis direct access to purchase markets for palm-based animal feed ingredients including palm expellers, Agravis said. Wilmar had said in September it was considering selling part of Boegel

Zimbabwe - Wilmar seeks $7,6m to recapitalise Olivine Jan 13 2016,

Wilmar seeks $7.6m bailout for Olivine 13 Jan 2016

OLIVINE INVESTOR FAILS TO STUMP UP $32M 7th January 2016; SINGAPORE-headquartered agribusiness group, Wilmar International, which last year completed the takeover of a 49 percent shareholding in fast-moving consumer goods  group, Olivine Industries, has failed to recapitalise the company, the Financial Gazette’s Companies & Markets (C&M) can reveal.  Wilmar was expected to inject US$32 million into Olivine to capitalise the business but reliable sources this week told C&M that the company “had completely failed to inject fresh capital into the company and gone quiet.

Wilmar new CPO policy effective next month BY HANIM ADNAN 5 December 2015; Oil palm planters in Sarawak are bracing themselves for the impact of Wilmar International Ltd’s new crude palm oil (CPO) sourcing policy, which is expected to take effect early next month. Wilmar is the largest CPO buyer in Sarawak, purchasing almost 50% of the state’s total CPO production or about 3.3 million tonnes annually for its palm oil refinery in Bintulu....  On Dec 5, 2013, the agribusiness group had declared a “no deforestation, no peat, no exploitation” policy to take effect in 2016, whereby Wilmar would only source CPO from sustainable oil palm plantations.... The policy created discontent among Sarawak oil palm planters, particularly those who were heavily involved in cultivating oil palm in high carbon stock forests, high conservation areas and peat land. Close to 42% or 504,000ha of the state’s total 1.2 millon ha of oil palm plantations are planted on peat soil.

Brazil - Wilmar, Raízen to form sugar venture to rival Cargill tie-up 04 January 2016 10:08 AM; Raízen Energia SA and Wilmar International Ltd plan to establish a sugar venture in Brazil to rival the partnership between Cargill and Copersucar, the nation's leading exporter this year.

Brazil watchdog reviewing proposed Raizen-Wilmar venture 25 December 2015

Brazil antitrust watchdog reviews proposed Raizen, Wilmar tie-up Dec 23, 2015

Wilmar, Raizen plan joint venture to be Brazil's top sugar exporter DEC 24, 2015

Wilmar plans Brazil tie-up to rival sugar-export giant DEC 25, 2015


Golden Agri's performance over coming quarters likely sluggish: BMI Research By PC Lee /   | January 28, 2016 SINGAPORE (Jan 28): Golden Agri’s performance in the coming quarters will likely remain sluggish as palm oil production is tipped to be slow or even register negative growth. Meanwhile, downstream operations will continue to be hurt by lingering overcapacity, and the outlook for the company's oils...

Four bring Golden-Agri arm's $300m to syndication 8 Jan 2016$300m-to-syndication
IOI Corp set for earnings rebound 12 February 2016 | MYT 11:31 AM; “The rebound in earnings will be underpinned by reversal in forex losses and stronger downstream contributions. This sector bellwether is the best proxy for an El Nino trade in first half of 2016... Operationally, IOI’s plantation division recorded a weaker second quarter to Dec 31, 2015 fresh fruit bunches (FFB) output of 934,811 tonne mainly due to below-average rainfall experienced in Sabah in first half of 2015. ... “As for downstream, we expect an EBIT of RM180mil due to the absence of RM203mil fair valuation loss on derivative financial instruments recorded in first quarter of financial year ending June 30, 2016. And it is possible that part of the 1QFY16 losses could be reversed in 2QFY16 to further boost earnings,” Maybank said. ..  IOI Corp’s re-inclusion into the Shariah compliant list in end-Nov 2015 had helped generated fresh interest.  ..

Bumitama Agri to snap up 95% stake in GHL for $7.91m 04 Feb 16; It’s trying to bag a 2,982 ha oil palm plantation. Bumitama Agri is getting ready to nab 95% stake in Gunajaya Harapan Lestari (GHL), which has a 2,982 ha oil palm plantation in Ketapang, West Kalimantan. The acquisition is worth IDR76.96m, or about $7.91m, and will be funded by Bumitama’s internal resources. - See more at:

RAM Ratings reaffirms Bumitama's AA3/Stable rating Jan 06 2016

Salim Group - Indonesian food group enters Malaysia poultry sector via CAB deal by CK TAN, Nikkei staff writer January 18, 2016; KUALA LUMPUR -- Indonesian food conglomerate Salim Group has agreed to invest 31 million ringgit ($7 million) in CAB Cakaran, a Malaysian poultry company that is on an expansion kick. In a stock exchange filing Monday, CAB said KMP, the Singapore-based investment arm of Salim, will subscribe to a planned private placement of new shares equivalent to 10% of CAB's total share capital. KMP will pay 2.07 ringgit per share, which represents a premium of nearly 26% over the weighted weekly average share price through Jan. 15. The deal is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2016....

Indofood Sukses Makmur Mulls Joint Venture With Japanese Firm Indofood Sukses Makmur is the world's largest manufacturer of instant noodles. (GA Photo/Mohammad Defrizal) By : Farid Firdaus | on 1:26 PM December 31, 2015

The Wilmar of rubber? By Goola Warden /   | January 29, 2016 Halcyon Agri has been aggressively expanding since its IPO nearly three years ago and could now be on the cusp of its biggest deal yet. Here’s what investors need to know about the brash company. Robert Meyer, executive chairman and CEO of Halcyon Agri Corp, has big ambitions for his company. “..

Jaya Tiasa set to see positive cash flow 5 January 2016; “We continue to believe it would be able to produce at full-fledge a tonnage of 1.5 million tonnes annually.” AmResearch understands that sustained efforts are being carried out to rehabilitate 10,000ha of planted areas that had been neglected previously. This could take more than a year. Jaya Tiasa will discontinue planting on its remaining plantation landbank representing 0.4% of its estimated plantable area of 69,873ha, after December 2015, and has given its commitment to comply with Wilmar’s Integrated Policy....

Jaya Tiasa stops planting oil palm on remaining land By AmInvestment Bank Bhd / The Edge Financial Daily   | January 5, 2016

19 December 2015: Wilmar eyeing some property projects after naming new COO (non-commodity / property expert), investors worry about FGV even if it buys less than 10% in Eagle High, FGV eyes biodegradable plastics from palm oil waste

Wilmar eyeing some property projects after naming new COO - Perennial Real Estate CEO's appointment to post will give commodity giant an advantage by Wong Wei Han, Dec 15, 2015; At first glance, it looks an odd fit, but commodity giant Wilmar International believes appointing the boss of a property firm to run its operations will reap a double payoff. As well as gaining a tried-and-tested businessman, Wilmar believes naming Perennial Real Estate chief executive Pua Seck Guan as its chief operating officer and an executive director will give it a way to take part in property development projects.... "In many places where Wilmar has significant operations, we have been offered attractive projects by the local government, which we declined as we do not have expertise in property development. "With the association with Perennial through Mr Pua, these projects can be undertaken by Perennial, with Wilmar maybe taking a small stake. Successful development of these projects will enhance Wilmar's relationship with the  government and standing of the company in those places." Perennial has a portfolio of properties developed or managed in Singapore, China, Malaysia and Ghana....

Wilmar falls after announcing management changes   By PC Lee /   | December 14, 2015

CIMB expresses caution even if FGV buys less than 10% in Eagle High by sharidan m. ali  15 December 2015

FGV to produce biodegradable plastics from palm oil waste 15 December 2015


14 December 2015: Eagle High still trying to find deal within Felda / FGV group, The Edge Malaysia reports FIC says no; new Wilmar COO 1 Jan 2016

Note: Some chatter about new Wilmar COO starting 1 Jan 2016 (see 12 Dec posting immediately below).

The Edge Malaysia reports Felda Investment Cooperative as saying "no" to Eagle High stake, front page of current issue.

Deal trail and issues, include

12 December 2015: ADM-Wilmar boost Olenex Europe JV, Wilmar in FOE spotlight, Felda Group to buy 37 pct of Eagle High in new deal, Sime Darby and others to test oil palm production scheme, Sime’s plan to reduce RM19.7bil debt, GVL prepares for processing, CBIP mill deals

Perennial Real Estate CEO to become COO at Wilmar - Mr Pua Seck Guan will become COO and executive director at Wilmar with effect from Jan 1, 2016. He will also retain his positions in Perennial. Posted 11 Dec 2015

Pua Seck Guan of Perennial doubles up as COO of Wilmar   By Tay Hock Meng / The Edge Property, Perennial Real Estate Holdings Ltd | December 11, 2015; Perennial Real Estate Holdings Limited CEO and executive director (ED) Pua Seck Guan has been appointed the new COO and executive director of Wilmar International Ltd with effect from January 1, 2016. Pua will retain his current positions at Perennial. Wilmar’s current COO and ED, Teo Kim Yong, will be retiring on December 31....

Replaces: Mr Teo Kim Yong, 61, is in charge of the Group’s commercial activities, merchandising of palm and lauric oils, as well as the manufacturing, palm and biodiesel trading operations.....

ADM, Wilmar strengthen joint venture  12/10/2015; Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) and Wilmar International Limited announced on Dec. 10 that they have entered into an agreement whereby Olenex, their partnership to market oils and fats in Europe, will become a full-function joint venture with its own assets.  As part of the agreement, ADM will transfer two sites — a specialty oils and fats facility and a palm refining plant in Hamburg, Germany — to the new joint venture. Wilmar will transfer its tropical oils processing plants in Brake, Germany and Rotterdam, Netherlands. In addition to processing, the joint venture will also integrate raw materials sourcing, trading, and sales and marketing operations. The agreement also stipulates that refined oils and fats from ADM’s other plants in the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and the U.K. will be marketed by Olenex. ...
Up in Smoke: Failures in Wilmar’s promise to clean up the palm oil business, 8 December 2015

Archer Daniels Midland spent $20 mln to raise Wilmar stake -filing Nov 4, 2015

Australia - Wilmar signs interim deal for 0.5 mln t of cane for 2017 season Published: 27 November 2015 .. Australia's largest sugar producer - Wilmar - says securing an interim agreement with 22 individual growers is a "breakthrough" to the current impasse about how export sugar is marketed, reports ABC Rural. ..

Sugar and grain industries say new ethanol legislation is a big win By David Sparkes  3 Dec 2015 Queensland Energy and Water Minister Mark Bailey on a tour the Wilmar Bioethanol facility in Sarina Photo: Queensland Energy Minister Mark Bailey (centre) visited the Wilmar Bioethanol plant earlier this year to discuss a possible mandate. (David Sparkes)  Australia's biggest sugar milling company, Wilmar, says new legislation boosts the chances of bioethanol becoming a major contributor to the state's economy. The legislation passed through Queensland Parliament last night and sets a mandated level of 3 per cent ethanol in the state's petrol and 0.5 per cent in diesel from January 1, 2017.

Wilmar stuck in an ROE rut: Jefferies   By PC Lee /   | November 18, 2015  SINGAPORE (Nov 18): Agricultural trader Wilmar International ( Valuation: 2.00, Fundamental: 0.80) looks stuck in a trading range until it can improve its return on equity any further, Jefferies says in a note soon after the firm reported quarterly earnings. Jefferies notes that Wilmar's management emphasised achievements in scale, dist..

Sime’s plan to reduce RM19.7bil debt; may monetise assets, place out shares  by s.puspadevi 27 November 2015

Felda Group to buy 37 pct of Eagle High in new deal-Rajawali exec By Cindy Silviana Dec 11, 2015  * Eagle High shares soar 8 pct after Rajawali comments * Most of purchase likely via different Felda unit -Rajawali * Felda Global may take less than 10 pct -Rajawali * Felda Global says still evaluating possible new deal (Adds comment from Felda Global Ventures, share price) JAKARTA, Dec 11 Malaysia's Felda Group still plans to buy 37 percent of PT Eagle High Plantations Tbk in a restructured deal, a managing director of the Indonesian firm's parent company said, sending shares in Eagle High soaring. The companies are finalising the price, Rajawali's managing director Darjoto Setyawan told Reuters in a text message interview. Read more at Reuters

Felda Global explains why it cannot do Indonesian Eagle deal alone by afiq isa 7 December 2015...FGV chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah had recently told StarBiz that all options were being considered to revive the deal.  The 37% stake in Eagle High is held by the Rajawali Group, a conglomerate controlled by Indonesian tycoon Tan Sri Peter Sondakh.

Minister settles defamation suit against PAS, Mustafa Ali and Harakahdaily by Bernama | Published on December 08, 2015; The suit was in relation to a defamatory statement by former PAS vice-president Datuk Husam Musa against Mustapa, who is Kelantan UMNO Liaison committee chairman on the shares of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (FGVH).
The suit was settled after the four defendants in the case tendered their apologies ...

Felda Global completes sale of Canadian unit for RM567mil  by p. aruna 4 November 2015... KUALA LUMPUR: Felda Global Ventures (FGV) Holdings Bhd has completed the sale of its loss-making Canadian subsidiary, and received the cash purchase price of C$172.7mil (RM567.1mil). The subsidiary, Twin Rivers Technologies Entreprises De Transformation De Graines Oléagineuses Du Québec Inc (TRT-ETGO) was sold to Canadian grain and oilseeds marketer and handler, Viterra Inc as part of FGV’s five-year transformation strategy. ...
Plantation giant Felda Global Ventures records pre-tax loss with higher revenue KUALA LUMPUR, NOV 26, 2015

GVL prepares for processing 08 December 2015

Indonesian conglomerate in poultry tie-up with Malaysia's CAB by WATARU SUZUKI, Nikkei staff writer JAKARTA -- Indonesian conglomerate Salim Group is partnering with Malaysia's CAB Cakaran to set up an integrated poultry business in Indonesia.

Sime Darby to test oil palm production scheme Published: 11 December 2015 5:04 PM Major oil palm growers, including Sime Darby Bhd will conduct trials of a sustainable cultivation scheme under the Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto - See more at:

How Sime Darby & Oil Palm production will help Liberia’s Economy - By Richard Sambulah Submitted by Cholo Brooks on Mon, 11/23/2015

Sime Darby appoints former Indonesian minister as director  24 November 2015

Sime Darby to expand rubber plantation despite weak price November 23, 2015

Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur: Giant Force in Indonesia's Consumer Goods Market 18 November 2015 |  Despite weakening purchasing power in an economy that has lost its growth momentum since 2011, Indonesia's largest packaged-food company Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur contains a number of advantages that are believed to lift the company's profit figures. Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur is a subsidiary of Indofood Sukses Makmur, a leading total food solutions firm in Southeast Asia's largest economy. The Indofood Group is known as the world's largest instant noodles producer.
IOI Corp slips into the red in 1Q due to forex loss   By Yimie Yong /   | November 16, 2015 KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 16): IOI Corp Bhd ( Valuation: 0.30, Fundamental: 0.35) plunged into the red for the first financial quarter ended Sept 30, 2015 (1QFY16) primarily due to foreign exchange (forex) loss of RM853.9 million on translation of its US dollar-denominated borrowings. The group posted a net loss of RM719 million or 11.38 sen lo...
First Resources posts 26.4% fall in 3Q earnings to $45 mil   By PC Lee /   | November 13, 2015 SINGAPORE (Nov 13): Palm oil producer First Resources ( Valuation: 0.90, Fundamental: 2.60) posted a 26.4% fall in 3Q earnings to US$31.7 million ($45 million) from $43.1 million a year ago. The weaker bottom line was dragged down by a 24.6% decline in profit from operations to US$54.1 million mainly due to the effects of lower palm oil...

Bumitama Agri’s 3Q earnings fall 30%   By Trinity Chua /   | November 12, 2015 SINGAPORE (Nov 12): Indonesian palm oil company Bumitama Agri’s 3Q ( Valuation: 0.90, Fundamental: 1.15) earnings fell 30% to 199.8 billion rupiah ($0.021 billion) on the back of higher cost of sales, increased expenses and a decline in selling prices for crude palm oil (CPO) and palm kernel. Revenue dropped 13.7% to 1,179 billion rup

Wilmar posts 35% fall in Q3 profit to $392.5m - In the tropical oils business, pre-tax profit fell 45.9 per cent to $149.5 million. This was because of declining crude palm oil prices and lower margins from the refining and downstream businesses, Wilmar said. In the tropical oils business, pre-tax profit fell 45.9 per cent to $149.5 million. This was because of declining crude palm oil prices and lower margins from the refining and downstream businesses, Wilmar said.PHOTO: REUTERS Nov 12, 2015

Asia's big three commodity traders reveal profit pain by Huileng Tan 13 Nov 2015; Asia's big three commodity trading houses were hit in the third quarter by a slump in raw materials prices that hammered profits and revenues. Reporting results this week, Noble Group, Olam International and Wilmar International - collectively known as the NOW group - highlighted a trio of challenging market conditions this year: Volatility in raw material prices, currency fluctuations and slumping investments.  On Thursday, Singapore-listed Noble reported an 84 percent on-year plunge in third-quarter profits to $24.7 million, mainly due to losses in its metals division and agricultural arm. Revenue was down 20 per cent to $18.7 billion.

Golden Agri-Resources Q3 profit jumps but El Nino looms Nov 12, 2015 4:30am EST

How Felda mobilised 10,000 for ‘red shirt’ rally 11 Nov 2015  The total number of Felda settlers who joined the rally was estimated to be 10,000, according to the parliamentary reply, she said. This means that about 10,000 Felda settlers joined the red shirt rally, she surmised. Many of the settlers were transported to Kuala Lumpur in buses. About RM1mil spent ... government-backed Village Development and Security Committee (JKKR) and the Coalition of Women's Movement (GPW) for giving RM925,000 to fund the ‘Felda rally’.

Indofood sees profit almost halved amid weakening rupiah The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Sat, October 31 2015, 5:05 PM - See more at:

RAM Ratings reaffirms First Resources’ AA2/Stable Sukuk rating  01, November 2015 by Matthew Amlôt

Rating Action:  Moody's withdraws Golden Agri's Ba3 corporate family rating November 06, 2015 -- Moody's Investors Service, ("Moody's") has withdrawn the Ba3 corporate family rating of Golden Agri-Resources Ltd. The rating outlook was negative at the time of its withdrawal.

CB Industrial bags palm mill contract worth RM51m in Indonesia   By Gho Chee Yuan /   | December 7, 2015 KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 7): CB Industrial Product Holding Bhd ( Valuation: 1.80, Fundamental: 3.00) has bagged a contract worth RM51.08 million from PT Ichtiar Gusti Pudi, a subsidiary of Ahmad Zaki Resources Bhd ( Valuation: 2.60, Fundamental: 0.60), to supply one continuous sterilisation palm oil mill with a capacity of 60 tonnes per hour.

CBIP wins RM60mil deal to supply another mill in PNG 4 December 2015 KUALA LUMPUR: CB Industrial Product Holding Bhd (CBIP) has secured a RM60mil contract from East New Britain Palm Oil Ltd’s subsidiary Glory Jade Investments Ltd to supply a continuous sterilisation palm oil mill for the client’s Papua New Guinea (PNG) operations.

IOI Corp sees lower oil palm FFB output, 28 October 2015 by Lee Weng Khuen PUTRAJAYA: IOI Corp Bhd has revised downwards its fresh fruit bunch (FFB) growth to between 3% and 5% for the financial year ending June 30, 2016 (FY16), from the initial forecast of 5% to 7%, due to the prolonged hazy weather. Speaking to reporters after the company’s AGM here yesterday, CEO Datuk Lee Yeow Chor said the hazy condition, which reduces sunlight hours, will probably affect up to 10% of total FFB. However, he said it will not have a negative impact on the company’s profitability as low production will boost palm oil prices...

The tree whisperer  by tee lin say 24 October 2015; Lee, the executive chairman and founder of IOI Corp, is the single-largest shareholder of both IOI Corp and IOI Prop, controlling some 51% of both companies. IOI Prop was demerged from IOI Corp and relisted separately on Jan 15, 2014 with a market capitalisation of RM8.13bil, making it the second-largest property player after UEM Sunrise Bhd back then. Today, it is the second-biggest property developer listed on Bursa Malaysia after SP Setia Bhd with a market cap of RM8.36bil....IOI Corp is a fully integrated company that undertakes the plantation and resource-based manufacturing businesses. The plantation business covers Malaysia and Indonesia with a landbank of more than 230,000 ha, making it one of the largest plantation owners in the industry. IOI Group owns four palm oil refineries, three located in Malaysia and one in the Netherlands, with a combined annual refining capacity of 3,300,000 tonnes.

PepsiCo’s palm oil pledge should not exempt Indofood, NGOs say - The global food and beverage giant recently promised to source deforestation-free palm oil, but green groups say the commitment should apply to joint venture partners that sell its branded partners. That includes Indofood, Indonesia's largest food company. by  29 October 2015

Indonesia's Indofood posts biggest 9-mth profit decline in decade on forex hit Oct 30, 2015 By Eveline Danubrata and Cindy Silviana * 9-mth profit 1.7 trillion rupiah vs 3.1 trillion a year ago * Net profit margin falls to 3.5 pct from 6.6 pct * Indofood has $1.2 bln in foreign currency debt * Plantation business hit by weak crude palm oil prices Read more at Reuters

SG’s First Resources buys out Indonesian plantation firm Karya Tama by Vincencia NLS October 26, 2015:   Singapore-based palm oil producer First Resources Limited has announced its indirect subsidiary PT Pancasurya Agrindo has acquired Indonesian plantation firm PT Karya Tama Bakti Mulia for a cash consideration of $1.4 million. The acquisition is being funded through internal accruals, the company said, in a filing to the stock exchange. Karya Tama is incorporated in Indonesia and principally engaged in the plantation business in the Riau province of Indonesia.... (First Resources) It manages over 190,000 hectares of oil palm plantations, including plasma plantations, and operates 12 palm oil mills across the Riau, East Kalimantan and West Kalimantan provinces of Indonesia.

Smear campaign against Indonesian palm oil underway: GAPKI, Jakarta | National | Mon, October 26 2015 - See more at: 

Rajawali's Eagle High says pledged assets to secure $201 mln bank loan Oct 19, 2015; PT Eagle High Plantations Tbk , the plantation unit of Indonesian conglomerate Rajawali Group, has secured a 2.74 trillion rupiah ($201 million) loan from PT Bank Negara Indonesia Tbk, an executive said on Tuesday. Eagle High Corporate Secretary Rudy Suhendra told Reuters by phone the loan will be used to refinance existing debt, make upcoming payments on bonds and build a new palm oil mill. Eagle High pledged some plantations as well as palm oil factories owned by its five subsidiaries as security for the loan, Suhendra said. In June, Malaysia's Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd said it will buy 37 percent of Eagle High from Rajawali for $680 million.

Kedah Rubber City’s GDV estimated at RM11.2bil 23 October 2015; ... Emir added it was also encouraging to note that the Government continued to provide funds to enhance the Felda settlers livelihood, in terms of income and productivity. Among the initiatives provided are RM200mil to improve the standards for road in Felda settlements and construction of 20,000 residences for the second generation Felda settlers. Others include increasing the incentive of Rubber Production Incentive (IPG) from RM4.60 to RM5.50 per kg for SMR 20 Freight on Board Rubber and scrap rubber (cup lumps) will be increased from RM1.75 to RM2.20 per kg. “All relevant Budget 2016 initiatives will directly and indirectly contribute to FGV in promising and positive ways.  “The budget complements our five-year transformation plan that focuses on enhancing revenue, cost optimisation and operational excellence across all our businesses such as palm oil, rubber and sugar,” added Emir. - Bernama...

Archived News (26/10/2015) : Olam International Signs MoU With FGV To Train Gabonese Farmers....

29 October 2015: Olam secures $1B in new loans to refinance debt


Olam secures $1B in new loans to refinance debt by Neelabh Chaturvedi Tuesday, 27 Oct 2015 | 9:46 PM ET;...Agri-trader Olam International has secured $1 billion in funding to refinance existing debt, just a couple of months after Mitsubishi Corp snagged a 20 percent stake in the company. Olam said the new revolving credit and term loan facility will comprise an $850 million 364-day revolving credit facility and a $150 million 5-year term loan. Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings owns 51.4 percent of Olam....; (also see, Why Mitsubishi took a stake in troubled Olam -

10 October 2015: Golden-Agri suppliers and Indonesia forex hedging and foreign debt conversion, IPOP dilution for smallholder interests, FGV news, Wilmar deals and tax break, IOI oleochem buy, Moody's eyes China slowdown impacts and plantation sector credit quality weakening,  Eagle High gets new loan, Indonesia gives tax incentives to dairy and biodiesel, consumer slow down


More certainty for sale of majority stake in China Minzhong Food By Andrea CHINA Minzhong Holdings and PT Indofood Sukses Makmur have committed to continue to discuss and work towards the finalisation of the proposed acquisition by China Minzhong Holdings of a majority stake in China Minzhong Food Corporation.

Felda Global gains 2.4% on renewed buying interest    By Surin Murugiah /   | October 15, 2015 : 9:42 AM MYT

Felda forays into student accommodation in London by Ismail Amsyar Mohd Said, Bernama    Published 14 Oct 2015, 4:27 pm
Giving back to society is 'right thing to do'- Palm oil giant Golden Agri-Resources funds schools, builds infrastructure and develops housing in the communities it operates.  By SUE-ANN CHIA

Give Shares Of Golden-Agri Resources A Pass  Oct. 9, 2015 3:09 PM ET   |  About: Golden Agri-Resources ADR (GARPY)   Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. (More...) Summary • The relationship between revenue and net income is actually negative. • After a review of the cash flow statement, we believe the dividend is in danger of being cut.

MNC looking to invest $60.4m, set up shop in Iskandar Malaysia by Liz Lee October 12, 2015:  A multinational company specialising in the distribution of tropical vegetable oils and their derivatives, has expressed interest to invest MYR250 million ($60.36 million) in Iskandar Malaysia, according to the Johor Tourism, Domestic Trade and Consumerism committee. Committee chairman Tee Siew Kiong said the Europe-based company, with its head office in Singapore, plans to set up its operations in the Southern Economic Corridor in peninsular Malaysia. “The investment could be realised by this year or in the first quarter of next year,” he told a press conference after opening D’ Elegance Hotel in Taman Nusanatara last Friday.

Indofood to hedge, convert foreign debts Anggi M. Lubis, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Sat, October 03 2015, 5:27 PM; Consumer goods giant PT Indofood Sukses Makmur plans to hedge and convert a sum of its foreign denominated loans later this year to comply with the central bank’s hedging regulation and to reduce financial costs. Indofood, one of the world’s largest noodle makers, has a total of US$1.2 billion in foreign-denominated loans, the company’s director Werianty Setiawan says.“None of the loans have been hedged. We will hedge at least 20 percent of our net exposure in the fourth quarter,” she said.“The hedging is to comply with BI’s [Bank Indonesia] regulation.”Late last year, BI introduced a new regulation requiring all Indonesian companies planning to borrow dollars to have a specific health level in three indicators: liquidity strength, hedging ratio and credit rating level.The rule came into effect in January 2015. Companies must hedge at least 20 percent of their short-term dollar debts and have a liquidity ratio of 50 percent. - See more at:

Golden Agri loses suppliers after IPOP implementation The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Tue, October 06 2015, 5:53 PM; Singapore-listed Golden Agri Resources (GAR) has said that it lost hundreds of thousands of tons of fresh fruit bunch (FFB) supplies as it suspended partnerships with several supplier companies due to the implementation of GAR’s non-deforestation policy.GAR sustainability and strategic stakeholder engagement managing director Agus Purnomo said in Jakarta on Monday that since May, the company had stopped buying FFB and crude palm oil (CPO) for its refineries from five to six companies allegedly conducting deforestation. However, he declined to reveal the value, saying it would be found in the company’s year-end financial report.“The impact of the decision to suspend the purchases was serious because it affected the company’s production,” he said.According to the company’s financial report published in August, GAR’s CPO output dipped by around 9 percent to 1.09 million tons in the first half of this year while its FFB production slipped by 3 percent to 4.58 million tons year-on-year. - See more at:

Big palm oil's pledge to preserve forests vexes Indonesia Wed Oct 7, 2015 7:47pm EDT  JAKARTA  |  By Michael Taylor  The Indonesian government is asking major palm oil companies to row back on the historic “no deforestation” pledges they made at last year’s United Nations climate change summit, officials and company sources say. Major palm oil companies were invited to a series of meetings at the economics ministry last week, where officials expressed concern the pledges the plantation companies made are causing big problems for smaller palm oil firms in their supply chain, the sources told Reuters. The government has asked palm oil firms who signed the Indonesian Palm Oil Pledge (IPOP) to exempt smallholders because they are not yet ready to practice the same level of sustainable forest practices as the big players, said Musdhalifah Machmud, deputy minister for food and agriculture at the coordinating ministry for economic affairs.

Credit quality of Asian palm oil players weakens, says Moody’s Thursday, 8 October 2015; PETALING JAYA: The credit quality of Asian palm oil producers is weakening, as oversupply is muting crude palm oil (CPO) prices and hampering deleveraging efforts, said Moody’s Investors Service. The average CPO price fell more than 30% to RM2,191 per tonne in the second quarter of this year from the second quarter of 2012 and averaged RM2,067 per tonne in July-August. “We expect CPO prices to remain under pressure over the next 18 months, with vegetable oil markets oversupplied and soft demand,” said Alan Greene, Moody’s vice-president, senior credit officer and a lead analyst on Asian palm oil producers. He said in Moody’s latest edition of Inside ASEAN that lower prices had muted cash generation, reflected in the recent negative rating actions on palm oil companies Golden Agri-Resources Ltd (Ba3 negative), Sime Darby Bhd (A3 negative) and IOI Corp Bhd (Baa2 negative). Inside ASEAN also examined the impact of the recent currency depreciation of the Malaysian (A3 positive) ringgit and Indonesian (Baa3 stable) rupiah. The ringgit depreciation was a symptom of declining export revenues, capital outflows and worsening sentiment towards Malaysia.

Cashing In On the TPP By Benjamin Shepherd on October 8, 2015; The largest trade pack in modern history is a go. Negotiators from 12 Pacific Rim countries, including the U.S., announced earlier this week that they have reached a final agreement on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). The deal, which covers the trade between countries that account for roughly 40% of the global economy, will lower trade barriers and set rules governing more than $1 trillion of goods and services. Now, everything from milk to auto parts will move more easily around the countries bordering the Pacific Ocean....For instance, Mexican poultry producer Industrias Bachoco S.A.B de C.V. does a booming business in its home country and the U.S., with revenue nearly doubling over the past five years and earnings shooting up from $2.12 to $5.18. The company’s operations are still relatively modest compared to the Tyson Foods of the world, which has more than three times the market capitalization of Industrias Bachoco, so shipping its chicks beyond the U.S. and Mexico would be a challenge. But the TPP will implement a single set of rules across the Pacific region that will replace a regulatory maze of food safety rules. As a result, Industrias Bachoco (NYSE: IBA) can soon more easily reach nearly 500 million new customers across Asia. The benefits accrue in both directions though, so Singapore-based Wilmar International could see North American vistas opening to it. A top producer of palm oil, sugar, flour and other agricultural products, Wilmar’s (OTC: WLMIY) business is largely confined to Southeast Asia, China, Europe and Africa. While its products are more in demand in those regions, palm oil is a relatively common ingredient in food production and used in more than half of all packaged products we Americans consumer.  The palm trees that produce the oil are only grown in the tropics, so most of the oil we consume is produced by domestic companies. But now that the TPP will be leveling the agricultural field, Wilmar can compete in the Nort  American market more easily. And the timing really couldn’t be better since earlier this year the U.S. Food and Drug administration ordered food manufacturers to stop using artificial trans fats within three years, much of which will likely be replaced with palm oil.

Indofood to hedge, convert foreign debts Anggi M. Lubis, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Sat, October 03 2015, 5:27 PM; Consumer goods giant PT Indofood Sukses Makmur plans to hedge and convert a sum of its foreign denominated loans later this year to comply with the central bank’s hedging regulation and to reduce financial costs. Indofood, one of the world’s largest noodle makers, has a total of US$1.2 billion in foreign-denominated loans, the company’s director Werianty Setiawan says.“None of the loans have been hedged. We will hedge at least 20 percent of our net exposure in the fourth quarter,” she said.“The hedging is to comply with BI’s [Bank Indonesia] regulation.”Late last year, BI introduced a new regulation requiring all Indonesian companies planning to borrow dollars to have a specific health level in three indicators: liquidity strength, hedging ratio and credit rating level.The rule came into effect in January 2015. Companies must hedge at least 20 percent of their short-term dollar debts and have a liquidity ratio of 50 percent….

Sime Darby - Malaysia plantation shares suffer from low palm oil prices, supply glut September 29, 2015 8:05 pm JST; Shares of Sime Darby, the world's largest palm oil producer by acreage, have slipped 18% so far this year while state-run Felda Global Ventures has lost nearly a third of its value. That compares to the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI's 9.2% year-to-date decline....

Plantations lead market higher, FGV in focus Wednesday, 30 September 2015 By: JOSEPH CHIN; KUALA LUMPUR: The recent rally in crude palm oil (CPO) prices on worries about a decline in output due to the impending El Nino phenomenon by year end saw plantations topping the gainers list while Felda Global Ventures (FGV) was in focus.

Indofood CBP Expects Slower Sales Growth Until Year-End By : Vanesha Manuturi | on 8:38 PM October 01, 2015; Jakarta. Sales at Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur, the world's largest instant noodle factory, is forecast to grow by 6 percent at most by the end of the year, showcasing a pessimistic view from the company for the remaining three months of the year.  "In the beginning of the year, we had hoped that sales would show double digit growth, however since the conditions are not conducive right now, it seems like full-year growth will be similar to the first half of the year, which is between 5 percent and 6 percent," Werianty Setiawan, a director at Indofood, told reporters in Jakarta on Thursday. Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur booked approximately Rp 1.7 trillion ($116 million) in net profit during the first half of the year, up 28 percent from about Rp 1.4 trillion in the same period last year. It recorded around Rp 17 trillion in sales during the first half of the year, up 6.6 percent from Rp 15.5 trillion in the revious year. Consumer goods companies, like Indofood CBP, have struggled to maintain sales growth in the past year as the nation faces a depreciated rupiah against the US dollar and its slowest economic pace since 2009, which has dampened consumer sentiment across the archipelago....

Indofood Agri Resources Mulls Plans for Three New CPO Plants By : Vanesha Manuturi | on 4:04 PM October 02, 2015; Jakarta. Singapore-listed Indofood Agri Resources, the agriculture arm of beverage and food giant Indofood Group, is planning to build up to three new crude palm oil factories next year through its subsidiaries, Salim Ivomas Pratama and London Sumatra, according to top executives at the company. Johnny Ponto, a director at publicly-listed Salim Ivomas Pratama, said that a majority of the palm fruits grown by Salim Ivomas Pratama are ready to be harvested and converted to crude palm oil in the next few years, which is why Salim Ivomas is planning to build two plants in East Kalimantan next year. "The factories will support our plantation estates... Hopefully, we can start [construction] by the end of the year or in the beginning of 2016, and complete it in 2017," Johnny said during a press conference in Jakarta on Thursday.  One of the factories will have the capacity to refine 40 tons to 80 tons of palm fruit per hour, he added.  Meanwhile, the second plant will have the capacity to process 40 tons of palm fruit per hour. Each is expected to cost Rp 200 billion ($13.6 million) in investment. Its subsidiary, London Sumatra, is also planning to add one CPO plant in East Kalimantan with a capacity to process 60 tons of palm fruit per hour, according to London Sumatra president director Benny Tjoeng.

Danone, Kerry, Pulmuone also eyeing Quorn By Dean Best | 30 September 2015

UPDATE 2-Quorn fields takeover interest from range of parties -sources

Big Order Sweeps Sugar Market - Wilmar International Ltd. emerged as buyer of $346 million of sugar, traders and brokers say By Carolyn Cui and Julie Wernau  Sept. 30, 2015 5:35 p.m. ET  Wilmar International Ltd. has bought 1.2 million tons of raw sugar on the ICE Futures U.S. Exchange against the October contract, the third delivery taken by the Singapore-based commodity company in recent months, bringing the total of this year’s purchases to more than $1 billion, traders and brokers said.

Volac Increases Turnover in Volatile Dairy Market 30 Sep 2015 --- Dairy nutrition company Volac has published its financial results for the 10 month period ending December 2014. During this 10 month period, turnover increased 1% from €265m to €268m compared to the previous full financial year and profit before tax decreased 10% from €25m to €22m.

Malaysia's Felda Global says taking additional steps in Eagle High purchase KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 29

MALAYSIA PRESS-Felda Global yet to pay deposit on Eagle High deal pending approvals-The Star

BNM needs details on FGVH remittance  by Kavithah RakwanTuesday, September 29, 2015

Immediate support for Felda Global at RM1.47, says AllianceDBS Research Published: 2 October 2015 12:03 PM - See more at:

Sime Darby voted best managed large cap in Malaysia By: LEON HUNG YEE  29 September 2015

LIBERIA: Bomi Superintendent Advises Sime Darby Company To Suspend Operations Submitted by Cholo Brooks on Sun, 09/27/2015 - 09:31

Analysts maintain ‘neutral’ on plantations following govt replanting scheme   By Sangeetha Amarthalingam /   | September 28, 2015 : 12:14 PM MYT     KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 28): Research bank analysts have maintained a “neutral” call on the plantation sector following the government’s move to implement a RM100 million replanting scheme between Oct 1 and Dec 31. CIMB ( Valuation: 1.65, Fundamental: 1.05) analyst Ivy Ng Lee Fang said there was no surprise because the bank had...

Najib, BN will be around next elections, says Kadir Jasin Published: 26 September 2015 2:37 PM;  “Najib’s emotive use of ‘bangsat’ is bound to find currency with many rural Malays. Najib himself believes that if he could hang on to power until the next GE to lead BN to victory. “So those who think that Najib will be done away with soon and BN will be gone in the next GE better think twice. “For as long as he can get half of the pak cik, mak cik, Orang Asli, rural folk and Felda settlers to side with him, Umno would be returned to power and his position would then be unassailable. He would be vindicated.”   He said all Najib needed to do in the meantime was to ensure that no criminal action was taken against him, and BN lawmakers were kept in check to avoid either defections or a vote of no-confidence. - See more at:

IOI Corp least affected by weak CPO prices due to exposure to downstream segment   By PublicInvest Research / The Edge Financial Daily   | September 23, 2015 : 10:28 AM MYT

IOI to see better outlook in FY16 September 23, 2015, Wednesday

Salim Group extends its reach WATARU SUZUKI, Nikkei staff writer September 24, 2015 12:00 am JST
Moody's: China Slowdown to Hit Indonesian Mining, Agriculture Sectors  By : Vanesha Manuturi | on 12:54 PM September 24, 2015; Jakarta. Indonesia's mining and agriculture industries will take the biggest hits from China's slowing economy in the next year, international rating agency Moody's Investors Service predicts.  In a report that was published on Wednesday, Moody's noted that mining businesses in Indonesia, such as Berau Coal Energy and Indika Energy, will probably see already weak coal demand exacerbated due to the slowdown.  "Falling demand for Indonesian thermal coal from China has led to an 11 percent dip in coal exports for the first six months of 2015," Moody's analysts said. "Weakened Chinese demand is now exacerbating the ongoing four-year slump in thermal coal prices, which is reducing the earnings and cash flows of the rated Indonesian coal companies."  Sinar Mas Group's agri-business unit, Golden Agri-Resources, also has a large exposure to China as more than 20 percent of the company's revenue last year came from customers there, according to Moody's.  "Golden Agri-Resources has a deep-sea port and interests in edible oil refining and marketing in China, as well as noodle manufacturing and distribution. Profitablity remains volatile as a result of overcapacity in the oilseed-crushing industry," Moody's analysts said.

Smallholders welcome independent Beluru mill project September 19, 2015, Saturday; BELURU: Smallholders have welcomed a proposed pilot independent palm oil mill project at Sungai Laong, where they have been invited to be among the shareholders. Assistant Minister of Agriculture (Farmers Organisation) Datuk Sylvester Entri Muran said preliminary preparations are being concluded and an official application will be submitted to the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and Ministry of Land Development within a week. The stakeholders of the proposed mill will be the Sarawak Farmers Organisation (30 per cent), National Farmers Organisation (20 per cent), DD Plantation (30 per cent), Land Consolidation and Development Authority (10 per cent) and the smallholders (10 per cent). “This would be the first in Sarawak where smallholders can also purchase shares and be stakeholders in a palm oil mill,” Entri said during a project progress briefing to about 1,000 smallholders and representatives yesterday. The projected cost of the mill would be between RM40 million and RM50 million, which would involve RM5 million worth of shares for smallholders. Read more:

Palm oil giant Golden Agri-Resources stops buying from firm implicated in haze Published Sep 24, 2015, 5:00 am SGT

Golden Agri says halts buys from haze-implicated supplier Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:04am EDT JAKARTA, Sept 23  |  By Michael Taylor

Dairy, Palm Oil Firms Granted Tax Incentives to Help Expansion; By : Damiana Simanjuntak & Tabita Diela | on 8:19 PM September 21, 2015; Jakarta. One dairy and two palm oil companies have been granted tax allowances that will let them enjoy reduced income tax bills for up to 15 years. Fonterra Brands Manufacturing Indonesia, Wilmar Bioenergi Indonesia and Wilmar Nabati Indonesia were approved for the privilege after a Finance Ministry decree issued recently, according to Industry Ministry official Haris Munandar. Corporate income tax in Indonesia is typically set at 25 percent, with a discount offered to companies that invest heavily in the country. Haris did not provide details on how much of a discount the companies would enjoy. Fonterra Brands Manufacturing Indonesia plans to invest $29.6 million for a plant in Bekasi, on the eastern outskirts of Jakarta, to produce powdered milk. Wilmar Bioenergi Indonesia is pouring $36.1 million into its oil palm plantation in Dumai, Riau province, and Wilmar Nabati Indonesia is investing Rp 828.43 billion ($57 million) for its organic chemical base plant, also in Dumai. Haris said the government had extended the tax breaks to other companies and was currently reviewing two other requests.

Inventure Renewables to build commercial scale waste oil biofuel plant for Wilmar in China  September 24, 2015   | Meghan Sapp;  In Alabama, Inventure Renewables, Inc. has announced construction of a commercial scale plant for Wilmar (China) Oleochemicals Co., Ltd. The commercial scale plant will be used to convert a waste vegetable oil byproduct into intermediate materials, which can be further processed into higher value food, feed and industrial products, including biodiesel. “We’re very excited to be working with Wilmar (China) Oleochemicals Co., Ltd.,” said Mark Tegen, President and Chief Executive Officer of Inventure Renewables. “The recent selection of Inventure’s Mixed Super Critical Fluid (MSCF) technology over competing alternatives is notable and would not have been possible without the compelling case for improved operational efficiencies that our technology offers.” Inventure has provided a complete solution for Wilmar including basic engineering, detailed engineering, equipment design, fabricat on, supervision of installation and start up support. It’s the company’s goal to provide comprehensive client solutions.

Indonesia’s new emissions target actually a step back: Greenpeace The new target might seem like an improvement over Indonesia’s previous commitment to cut emissions growth by 26 per cent over projected business-as-usual levels by 2020, but it actually represents a regression, Greenpeace says.

FGVH said to be target of global anti-palm oil lobby by Mohamad Azlan JaafarWednesday, September 23, 2015; Several anti-palm oil groups are pressuring international manufacturers to boycott products from Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGVH), according to industry sources. FGVH, Malaysia’s largest oil palm planter, is being singled out for using “unfair labour practices” among other things. There has always been an anti-oil palm lobby, but recently several non-governmental organisations’ (NGOs) have canvassed local manufacturers of consumer product companies to stop buying products from FGVH. “It appears that there is a move to target FGVH products using labour practices as the excuse,” said an industry source. “The authorities should investigate this latest move to boycott FGVH products.” Previously, anti-palm oil lobbyists, comprising NGOs and consumer groups, have cited deforestation, destruction of peatlands, health concerns, habitat degradation, animal cruelty and indigenous rights abuses to spread t eir anti-palm oil gospel. Today, they have added “modern slavery” into their argument to force international food and consumer goods manufacturers to abandon palm oil in the production of their products.

Many Asia-Pac corporates can withstand impact from China's slowdown: Moody's By Siow Li Sen; Most exposed to China are corporates in the metals and mining, coal, oil and gas, steel, chemical, auto, technology and agriculture sectors, said Moody's on Wednesday. Corporates with modest exposure are those in the business and consumer services, gaming, manufacturing, port, real estate, retail, shipping and trading sectors. Exposure is low for airports, homebuilding and building materials, telecommunications and utility sectors, as these sectors tend to derive their revenues domestically....

China makes, another, cattle ranch purchase in Australia 15th Sept 2015, by Mike Verdin; China chalked up another land acquisition in Australia, as Fucheng Group purchased a 31,000-hectare cattle property at a price which exceeded market expectations – and the threshold requiring the deal to require government clearance. Fucheng for Aus$28.0m ($20m) bought the Woodlands cattle-fattening property in southern Queensland from MP Evans, the London-listed palm oil group which first put the ranch up for sale six years ago. The deal - which excludes the purchase of the cattle and equipment at the site, estimated by MP Evans to be worth more than Aus$10m – is considerably more than many commentators had expected for the site.

IOI Corp invests in German oleochemical firm   By Affin Hwang Capital / digitaledge Daily   | September 14, 2015 : 10:32 AM MYT     IOI Corp Bhd ( Valuation: 0.50, Fundamental: 1.05) (Sept 11, RM4.00)Maintain hold with target price (TP) of RM4.02: IOI Corp Bhd announced that an indirect-wholly-owned subsidiary had on Sept 9 entered into a conditional asset purchase agreement to acquire the entire oleochemicals business of Cremer Oleo GmbH & Co KG in Germany for

To break up Sime Darby or not? by Khairie Hisyam     Published 14 Sep 2015, 2:17 pm

Wilmar International plans partial stake sale in German subsidiary by Shiwen Yap, September 16, 2015:  Singapore-listed commodities group Wilmar International is considering divesting a part of its stake in German animal feed trading house H. Boegel (link in German). A Wilmar spokesperson said: “An interested party in the animal feed business has approached Wilmar to buy part of our stake and we are considering the proposal as it would benefit Boegel.” Boegel is an indirect subsidiary of Wilmar, which holds a 66 per cent stake in the firm through a subsidiary. The Hamburg-based firm is involved in the import and trading of animal feeds. Recently, Religare Institutional Research shared with the The Business Times that the agribusiness group is skating on thin ice, recommending investors to sell their shares in it and divest their interest in the group. According to Religare, Wilmar’s intense capital expenditure programme, estimated to be US$6.5 billion since 2010, has delivered poor returns to investors.

EU Approves Dutch Biodiesel JV Between Wilmar & Fox Petrolifera, 9/11/2015 8:21 PM ET The European Commission on Friday said it has approved the creation of a Dutch joint venture company between Wilmar International Limited of Singapore and Fox Petrolifera Italiana SpA of Italy, under the EU Merger Regulation. The joint venture will produce biodiesel and its by-products from an existing Italian biodiesel plant currently operated by Fox Petrolifera. Both companies' are active in the production of biodiesel as well as crude and refined glycerin. The joint venture's parent companies will also sell palm and seed oil, which are both used in the production of biodiesel.

Broker's take: Wilmar skating on thin ice, says research house By Claire Huanghuang Aug 27, 201510:13 AM, RELIGARE Institutional Research said on Thursday that Singapore-headquartered agribusiness group Wilmar International is skating on thin ice, and initiated coverage on it with a "sell" call and a target price of S$2.27. Wilmar's intense capital expenditure programme (US$6.5 billion over last five years) has delivered poor returns, Religare says. "Its core refining business is threatened by severe overcapacity and driven by volatile trading gains. At 14x enterprise value/earnings before interest, tax, depreciation & amortisation FY2015 forecast, Wilmar is overvalued for its risks."

Plantation Company Eagle High Secures Rp 2.74t Loan From BNI By : Jakarta Globe | on 2:52 PM September 13, 2015; Jakarta. Plantation company Eagle High Plantations secured Rp 2.74 trillion ($192.3 million) in loans from state lender Bank Negara Indonesia to repay its debts and expand its businesses, Eagle High said in a statement released on Friday.  Eagle High’s corporate secretary Rudy Suhendra said the company signed the loan deal with BNI last Thursday.  ”The [loan] facility will be used to repay existing debts to BNI and develop the company's palm plantation business [through subsidiaries],” Rudy said in the statement, adding that the loans mature in 84 to 96 months.  Eagle High’s subsidiaries Bumilanggeng Perdanatrada, Bumihutani Lestari, Adhyaksa Dharmasatya, Satria Manunggal Sejahtera and Prima Cipta Selaras stand to benefit from the loan.  Eagle High has this year set aside Rp 800 billion in capital expenditure to be spent on developing two new palm oil processing companies and 5,000-10,000 hectares of plantation area.

Felda gets UMA query on share price surge Published: 14 September 2015 9:01 PM Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) has been issued an unusual market activity (UMA) query by Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd, after the sudden sharp rise in its share price today. FGV's counter rose as high as 30% to trade at RM1.65 today. The stock has been on a slide since early this year, plunging to its historical low of RM1.19 on August 26. FGV saw a stellar listing debut when its shares rose 19% premium to RM5.39, over its retail offering price of RM4.55. It closed at RM5.30 on the first day of listing on June 28, 2012. - See more at:

Felda Settlers Assembly should be called off if connected to Red shirt rally Posted on 14 September 2015 - 05:56pm; PETALING JAYA: The Felda Settlers Assembly on Sept 16 should be called off if it is in any way connected to the coming Red shirt rally on the same day, Felda Settlers Children Association (Anak) president Mazlan Aliman said today. Mazlan questioned the legitimacy of the assembly and urged Felda director general Datuk Hanapi Suhada to clarify several key points in a letter issued by one Zulhai Mohd Nor Affendy, allegedly on behalf of the Felda Community Development director. "Anak wants to clarify, what is the motive behind this assembly. If it is related to the Red shirt rally, we urge that the assembly be cancelled. "Felda must not be involved in any activity that presents a security risk and exploits its settlers for certain political agenda," he said in a Facebook post today.

Felda settlers bussed in for M'sia Day, not rally by Alyaa Azhar     Published 15 Sep 2015, 3:22 pm; The Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) has denied that its event to be held tomorrow in the city centre has any connection with the red shirt rally. “We don’t have any connection with the red shirt rally. We just want to celebrate Malaysia Day which is on the 16th,” said a Felda spokesperson.

16 September 2015: Thailand PTT sells interest in East Kalimantan unit, Provident Agro unit caught up in Riau fires charge

Thailand's PTT to Sell More Palm Oil Assets in Indonesia By : Reuters | on 06:00 AM September 10, 2015; Bangkok. PTT Pcl, Thailand's largest energy firm, said on Wednesday it will sell its stake in a palm oil business in Indonesia for an undisclosed sum as part of a plan to divest non-core assets. Its subsidiary PTT Green Energy Pte will sell its entire holding in PTT Green Energy (Netherlands) Cooperatief U.A. (PTTGE) to its partner in the operation, Sindopalm Pte Ltd, an affiliate of PT Kalpataru Investama, the Thai firm said in a statement. PTT had been in investing since 2010 in PTTGE, which has interests in seven palm oil companies in East Kalimantan with a total area of 78,877 ha. ... The PTT unit had in June sold its 95 percent stake in a palm oil business in Indonesia for $35 million.

Provident Agro unit - Police Charge Oil Palm Company Over Sumatra Forest Fire By : Jakarta Globe | on 16:39 PM September 14, 2015; The company has been identified as Langgam Inti Hibrida, an joins 40 individuals charged with setting 37 forest fires in Riau province, according to Adj. Sr. Comr. Guntur Aryo Tedjo, a spokesman for the provincial police....Established in 1998, LIH is based in Riau’s Pelalawan district and is 99.8 percent owned by publicly lited Provident Agro. The company was also cited earlier this year by district environmental officials for improper waste management.

13 September 2015: Sime Darby to Raise $1.5 Billion From Rights Issue, Various ratings downgrades, GAR biodiesel push, Goldman banker joins Wilmar for deal making, Wilmar's new industrial estate and port, Felda denies WSJ allegations, worries that Indonesia subsidy will undermine sustainability and IPOP pledges

Editor's note - due to being away on travels lately news review has been a bit sparse, so this segment is a major review going back to 28 August.

Will Indonesia’s new palm oil subsidy undermine no-deforestation push? 1st September 2015 / Philip Jacobson & Sapariah Saturi - Officials are selling nascent CPO Fund on sustainability grounds, but experts fear it will do more harm than good... • Questions remain about whether the CPO Fund will carry environmental safeguards and how its resources will be divided between its two main purposes: helping farmers increase their yields and subsidizing biodiesel. • A senior adviser to the energy minister worries the subsidy, if administered haphazardly, could throw an unfortunate lifeline to the dwindling market for palm oil from deforestation, peatland coversion and land grabbing. • The man who designed the fund says it's all about sustainability because it will reduce dependence on foreign petroleum and shore up flagging palm oil prices.

Rating Action: Moody's downgrades Golden Agri-Resources Ltd to Ba3; outlook negative by Global Credit Research - 04 Sep 2015; Singapore, September 04, 2015 -- Moody's Investors Service has downgraded the corporate family rating of Golden Agri-Resources Ltd (GAR) to Ba3 from Ba2.  The outlook on the rating remains negative....  "The downgrade reflects an ongoing erosion in palm oil prices such that they have now hit six-year lows and our view that GAR will be unable to reduce leverage significantly in the next six to nine months from over 6x currently, and its liquidity will continue to remain under pressure," says Alan Greene, a Moody's Vice President and Senior Credit Officer.  Despite adverse market conditions, GAR has continued to make further progress towards refinancing the probable put on its convertible bonds on 4 October 2015.

Golden Agri Resources to build $150m biodiesel facility Anggi M. Lubis, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Fri, August 14 2015, 3:46 PM; “We are currently in the process of building two biodiesel plants of 300,000 tons per annum each in capacity, of which we expect can be completed by next year,” he said.“The construction for one of the plants started earlier so it is expected to be fully completed in the first half [of next year] while the second one has just started recently so it will be done toward the second half.”For the two plants, Fung said that a total of $150 million in investments would be disbursed, and the expansion was carried out by one of GAR’s subsidiaries. The new plants, he explained, are located in Marunda in North Jakarta and Tarjun in South Kalimantan. - See more at:

Former Top Goldman Banker Joins Wilmar in Dealmaking Role by  Chanyaporn Chanjaroen and Joyce Koh  September 8, 2015 — 12:09 PM HKTUpdated on September 8, 2015 — 5:42 PM HKT; Wilmar International Ltd., the world’s biggest palm-oil processor, has hired former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker Hsin Yue Yong for a dealmaking role. Yong, who was Goldman’s head of Southeast Asia investment banking, joined Wilmar in July as general manager for special projects, the Singapore-based company said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday responding to Bloomberg queries. The former banker’s role is “centered around” strategic development, which also involves mergers and acquisitions, according to the statement. Yong, who’s related by marriage to the billionaire Kuok family that controls Wilmar, has about two decades of dealmaking experience, the statement shows.

Wilmar’s industrial estate to kick off operations this year The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Sat, August 08 2015, 4:13 PM; The Wilmar Group Indonesia, which is the country’s largest palm oil producer and a subsidiary of Singapore-listed Wilmar International, is developing the zone on a piece of land measuring approximately 1,744 hectares, which includes 544 ha of reclamation area for a port and industrial development.The integrated industrial estate will have its own power plant with a capacity of 2 x 1,000 Megawatts worth US$2.5 billion, a port with a loading capacity of 30 million tons per year worth $500 million of investment and a railway system. The zone’s construction phase cost $130 million worth of investment from the total planned investment of $700 million and has absorbed around 2,000 workers. Currently, the project is entering the port construction phase.Wilmar Group Indonesia director Erik Tjia said on Friday that his office was in the process of applying for the port construction permit.“We will finish the project gradually with infrastructure construction as the priority,” he said as quoted by, adding that the port would be focused on facilitating exported goods shipments while the railway would provide access for transporting raw materials and finished products. - See more at:

Singapore businesses mark 10 years of CSR push By Medilyn Manibo Thursday 27 August 2015; Keppel Land, Wilmar and Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore have received accolades for championing corporate social responsibility as part of their core business practices.

Sime Darby to Raise $1.5 Billion From Rights Issue - The potential share sale, which likely would be Malaysia’s biggest this year, comes after palm-oil prices hit six-year lows By P.R. Venkat  Sept. 8, 2015 1:07 a.m. ET  SINGAPORE—State-controlled Malaysian palm-oil producer Sime Darby Bhd. is planning to raise around $1.5 billion from a rights issue that could shore up its balance sheet, people with knowledge of the deal said Tuesday.

Moody’s downgrades Sime Darby’s sukuk and notes  Saturday, 5 September 2015; KUALA LUMPUR: Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the outlook for Sime Darby Bhd’s sukuk and medium-term note (MTN) programme to “negative” as the diversified conglomerate – which is involved in plantations, property and motors – had been impacted across the board. The international ratings agency said yesterday that Sime Darby was affected by the slower rate of growth in China and most Asia-Pacific economies, lower commodity prices and a weaker ringgit.  “This has seen leverage surge to over four times for the year ended June 30, 2015 from 1.5 times for FY2012,” it said....

FGV in final stage of acquiring stake in Eagle High Plantations Published: 10 September 2015 11:06 PM; EHP owns 425,000 hectares of oil palm plantations, out of which 67% are in Kalimantan and the rest in Papua New Guinea (9%), Sulawesi (19 per cent) and Sumatra (5%). – Bernama - See more at:

FGV taps India’s oil palm potential  By GOH THEAN HOWE - 7 September 2015 @ 11:00 AM  KUALA LUMPUR: FELDA Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV), the world's largest crude palm oil producer, plans to collaborate and explore partnership opportunities with a few Indian partners to further strengthen its market position as the leader in the oil palm-based downstream sector....

Viterra buys Canada oilseed plant from Malaysia's Felda By Reuters Media  on Sep 8, 2015    at 8:25 a.m. WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Viterra Inc, the agriculture segment of Glencore PLC, said on Thursday that it agreed to buy Eastern Canada's largest oilseed processing plant from Malaysia's Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd.    Felda, the world's third-largest palm plantation operator, said it would sell the TRT-ETGO plant at Bécanour, Quebec to Viterra for C$190 million ($143.43 million)...

Felda stronghold maintain Najib’s grip on power BY RAM ANAND Published: 6 September 2015 8:55 AM | Updated: 6 September 2015 11:09 AM - See more at:

More homes to be built for Felda settlers  by sharanpal singh randhawa Updated: Monday August 31, 2015 MYT 11:35:32 AM; KUALA TERENGGANU: More homes will be built for the second generation of Federal and Land Development Authority (Felda) settlers, as a sign of the government’s gratitude to them. Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the houses would cost between RM60,000 and RM70,000. “Recently I announced that house prices for the second generation of Felda settlers be reduced from RM120,000 to RM90,000. But now, I would like to announce that more houses will be built for them and these houses would only cost between RM60,000 and RM70,000. “This is because Felda settlers have risked and sacrificed everything they had and placed all their trust in the government....“The price of the Felda Global Ventures (FGV) shares will rise and fall and that is normal. My advice to settlers is, keep your shares and not to sell them. Let them accumulate and the price will rise. “For the short term, what we have is the dividend. Last year, we paid a total of RM59.2mil in dividends, I can assure you that Felda has enough of reserves to continue paying such dividends for a long time,” he said. Najib said the Government was constantly finding ways to ensure that Felda settlers benefit from any major venture...

Felda denies WSJ report on workers’ abuse, hiring illegals Published: 28 August 2015 9:17 PM; Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) has investigated allegations of human rights abuses raised by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and clarified that it did not employ illegal immigrants. In a statement, it said a special taskforce was assembled and chaired by its group president and chief executive officer, Datuk Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah, to investigate the allegations and reiterated that all its workers were employed in full compliance of all regulations and laws. - See more at:

FGV net profit takes a hit from falling palm oil prices Tuesday, 25 August 2015; PETALING JAYA: Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV), which is buying a 37% stake in Indonesian planter Eagle High Plantations Tbk, said net profit for the second quarter ended June 30, 2015 plunged 70% to RM46.09mil from RM151.86mil a year ago...

BIMB Securities cuts Felda Global's target to RM1.03   by The Edge Markets  KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 25): BIMB Securities Research has maintained its “Sell” rating on Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) with a lower ...

Rating Action: Moody's affirms IOI ratings at Baa2; changes outlook to negative - Global Credit Research - 04 Sep 2015; Based on IOI's latest financial results for the year ended 30 June 2015 (FY2015), credit metrics have weakened further with adjusted debt/EBITDA at 4x, and negative retained cash flow.  "IOI's credit metrics are largely a function of the company's policy in terms of shareholder distributions and capital structure and therefore controllable by management," says Alan Greene, a Moody's Vice President and Senior Credit Officer...

10 September 2015: Sinar Mas mulls bioplastics, two biodiesel plants in construction

Sinar Mas Group Mulls Plans to Start Producing Bioplastic - Jakarta GLobe, ...Franky Widjdja, the chairman of publicly listed Sinar Mas Agribusiness & Foods (SMART), said the company was currently researching the feasibility of bioplastics, which are derived from vegetable-based oils such palm oil, rather than from crude oil.  "We're learning about the commercial possibilities of the business. Right now, the government is offering a really attractive incentive," Franky told reporters in Jakarta over the weekend...Sinar Mas Group is currently constructing two biodiesel fuel factories located in Jakarta and Kalimantan with total capacity to process up to 800,000 metric tons of crude palm oil, Franky said. "The investment wasn't really that costly. It ranges from about $30 million to $40 million for one plant," he added....

7 September 2015: Felda mulls price cut for Indonesia deal, plantations the mainstay for Sime, DSN stock split, palm oil mill sludge pellets, S&P lowers IOI Corp outlook

Felda Said to Mull Price Cut for $680 Million Indonesia Deal  by Joyce Koh and Elffie Chew  September 1, 2015 — 5:33 PM HKTUpdated on September 2, 2015 — 6:40 PM HKT; Felda said June 12 it planned to buy 37 percent of Eagle High from Indonesian conglomerate Rajawali Group for $680 million in cash and shares. That implies an enterprise value of about $17,400 per hectare of land, compared with the $25,900 that Sime Darby Bhd. paid for New Britain Palm Oil Ltd. in March, Felda Chief Executive Officer Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah said in a July interview. Employees Provident Fund, Malaysia’s biggest pension fund manager, is concerned about the valuation Felda is paying, the official Bernama news agency reported in June

Plantations the mainstay of Sime Saturday, 29 August 2015  By: HANIM ADNAN; SIME Darby Bhd has built its reputation as one of the world’s largest listed palm oil conglomerates producing some 2.8 million tonnes of crude palm oil (CPO), which represents 5% of the world’s total production. Despite its well-diversified business portfolio, Sime’s plantation division has been the mainstay contributing over 40% to the group’s profit annually.  Hence, to keep up with the high momentum in the oil palm business, Sime has aggressively been expanding its land bank overseas given the scarcity of suitable land for oil palm in Malaysia.  Sime has a total land bank of one million ha across Malaysia, Indonesia, Liberia, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea (PNG).....

Dharma Satya Nusantara Plans 1-to-5 Stock Split

‘Sustainability company’ transforms palm mill wastes into fuel for electricity  Saturday, 5 September 2015; “In 2013, we found a palm oil mill owner in Klang who was willing to give us a chance, and a Korean company agreed to invest in us,” he told StarBizWeek.... Hyper Fusion treats the waste water sludge and separates the solid particles from the mix. The remaining sludge is then turned into pellets. A palm oil mill generates four kinds of waste: empty fruit bunches, oil palm mesocarp fibre (OPMF), kernel shells (PKS) and POME – collectively known as biomass. The company takes all the four by-products and processes them by removing up to 90% of moisture, thereby transforming them into an efficient form of fuel for the boilers. “A mill usually has at least 10 ponds, and the ponds take up about two-thirds of the mill area. “What we do eliminates the need for so many ponds. All we need is the first pond, and the last two ponds,” said Dinesh. Not only was Hyper Fusion’s method better for the environment, he said, but also saved a lot of space in the mill area, which could be used for other operations such as farming. The process treats the effluent and reduces the chemical oxygen demand (COD) and BOD (biochemical oxygen demand) by 80% in less than 10 minutes. The remainder is then sent into the last two ponds to complete the clarification process which takes about two weeks. When it is done using the traditional ponding method, the entire process usually takes between 90 and 120 days....

S&P lowers IOI Corp outlook to negative Wednesday, 2 September 2015; S&P credit analyst Vishal Kulkarni said he had revised the outlook as IOI’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) and cash flows were likely to be weaker than earlier expected over the next 12 months because of a recent sharp decline in CPO prices. “At the same time, IOI’s reported debt will increase following the depreciation of the ringgit. The company’s distribution of the majority of its operating cash flow to shareholders limits its deleveraging potential,” he said. Kulkarni has projected that IOI’s ratio of debt to earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and Ebitda would deteriorate to more than 3.5 times for fiscal 2016 ending June 30, 2016. This is based on the assumption that the ringgit will stay at about 4.2 per US dollar and CPO prices would remain subdued for the rest of the fiscal year. “The negative outlook reflects our view that IOI’s debt-to-Ebitda ratio may not recover to close to 3 times over the next six to 12 months if CPO prices remained at current levels and the company’s shareholder distributions stay elevated....

Glencore Studies Selling Stake in Agriculture Unit to Curb Debt by  Javier Blas and Jesse Riseborough  September 7, 2015 — 3:21 PM HKTUpdated on September 7, 2015 — 5:43 PM HKT; Glencore Plc is considering selling a minority stake in its agriculture business as part of the Swiss miner and commodity trader’s wider plan to reduce its $30 billion of debt by about a third.
It could bring in investors in infrastructure assets in the agriculture unit including ports, rail and storage facilities, or even sell a minority stake in the overall business, Glencore Chief Financial Officer Steve Kalmin said. There’s been “quite a lot of interest” in food commodities from sovereign wealth funds in China and Japan, he said Monday in a phone interview. A sale would mark a retreat by Glencore, less than five months after saying it sought to expand in agriculture following the success of its C$6.1 billion ($4.6 billion) purchase of Canadian grain trader Viterra Inc. in 2012. Viterra said just two weeks ago it would spend C$190 million on an oilseed processing plant. Asian traders and sovereign funds have spent billions in the industry in the past two years as growing populations boost food demand....

22 August 2015: Expectations of weak 2Q2015 for Malaysian plantations, KL Kepong results, FGV denies raising wages

Tough times for palm planters Saturday, 22 August 2015  By: HANIM ADNAN Tough times for palm planters Saturday, 22 August 2015 By: HANIM ADNAN Weak CPO price to hurt earnings; rising stockpile and production to affect sentiment A BUMPY ride ahead is envisaged for plantation companies as their earnings are expected to be dragged down by weaker average crude palm oil (CPO) selling prices. The price of CPO, which has fallen by about 14% year-to-date, is currently trading below the RM2,000-per-tonne mark.  According to OilWorld estimates, world palm oil production this year will hit a record 60.7 million tonnes, thus contributing to a surge in the stock-usage ratio. Singapore-based Nomura Research, in its latest report, expects a weak second quarter 2015 (Q2) results for Malaysian plantation companies. “In the last few weeks, Indonesia and Singapore plantation companies have released their Q2 results. “All of the companies under our coverage reported results that were below market expectations, due mainly to the weaker average selling prices.”

KL Kepong core earnings below survey Thursday, 20 August 2015; KUALA LUMPUR: Affin Hwang Capital Research said Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd’s (KL Kepong) core net profit for the nine months to June 30 were below expectations due to lower selling prices for crude palm oil (CPO), palm kernel and rubber as well as continued pressure on manufacturing margins.
“Based on our lower CPO average selling price (ASP) forecast for 2015-2017 estimate, our core net profit forecasts are cut by 7%-10%, resulting in a lower price target of RM21.21,” it said.

Wages of plantation workers not raised, says Felda Published: 17 August 2015 10:54 PM; "We have not raised the wages of our plantation workers, including palm oil mill employees, and other general workers, by 8 to 10% effective April 1, 2015, as suggested in the report. - See more at:

Bumitama Agri's Q2 profit drops 26% By Nisha Ramchandani; Aug 13, 201511:45 AM PALM-OIL planter Bumitama Agri reported a 26 per cent year on year slide in net profit to 217.08 billion Indonesian rupiah (S$22 million) for the second quarter ended June 30, due to the lower selling prices of crude palm oil (CPO) and palm kernel (PK), share of losses of associate companies as well as higher costs and expenses.

First Resources' net profit from operations down 6.8% on weak palm oil prices - Weaker palm oil prices dragged down performance at First Resources.  Weaker palm oil prices dragged down performance at First Resources. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG Aug 13, 2015, 11:48 am SGT by Yasmine Yahya; SINGAPORE - Weaker palm oil prices dragged down performance at First Resources, which said net profit from operations for the second quarter fell 6.8 per cent from a year ago to US$47 million, even as sales rose. Sales in the three months ended June 30 increased 5.9 per cent to US$118.8 million due to higher sales volumes of palm-based products, partially offset by the effects of lower average selling prices....

27 July 2015: PT Provident Agro key shareholders want to sell, First Resources acquires 6,000 ha, Genting Plantations said to buy 70,000 ha oil palm plantation

from AmBank research 27 July: Bloomberg reported that PT Provident Agro’s two largest shareholders are exploring a sale of their majority stake in the company. Provident Capital Partners and PT Saratoga Investments may start reaching out to buyers next month. The two shareholders own a combined stake of 88.3% in Provident Agro, which has a market capitalisation of US$339mil (share price of Rp640). Provident Agro has 44,475ha of planted landbank and 110,000ha of total landbank.

From CIMB research 23 July: First Resources has acquired PT Falcon Agri, an Indonesian planter with 6,000ha of planted oil palm estates, for an estimated US$11,000/ha, which we view as fair. Meanwhile, we expect the group to meet our expectations by delivering a core net profit of US$34m when it releases its 2Q results on 13 Aug. The stock remains an Add due to its young estates and strong management. Our target price stays at S$2.44, based on 15.3x or its historical average P/E.

MALAYSIA PRESS-Genting Plantations plans Indonesia expansion-Business Times Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:42pm EDT Malaysia's Genting Plantations Bhd plans to buy a 70,000-hectare oil palm plantation in Indonesia to grow its business in the country, Business Times reported on Thursday, citing sources. The plantations arm of Malaysian conglomerate Genting Bhd has identified the site in Indonesia and is in talks with relevant parties before entering into an agreement, the sources was quoted as saying....

21 July 2015: FGV Emir to stay on, FGV to raise money from non-core asset sale, Dr M shared concerns says FGV activitist, FGV says no more new acquisitions;  Volac-Wilmar global animal feed fats business, Sime Darby plantations moves to dispose of its non-core business and ease future cashflow, Green Synergy Sdn Bhd a significant SME player in the Malayisa biomass sector

Emir to stay on? Tuesday, 21 July 2015 By: SHARIDAN M. ALI PETALING JAYA: Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) group president and CEO Datuk Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah’s contract to helm the plantation group is likely to be renewed for another year, sources said.
It is learnt that Emir’s contract that ended last Wednesday was extended. Previously there was speculation that there would be a new person to lead FGV following scrutiny on the company’s performance and deals. FGV had yet to get back to query on the issue at press time.
FGV market capitalisation has halved since its Bursa debut back in 2012 and its latest proposed purchase of a 37% stake in Indonesia’s PT Eagle High Plantations for US$680mil on June 12 was criticised as being an expensive deal.  Emir has defended the Eagle High deal as FGV was paying a lower enterprise value (EV) at US$17,400 per planted ha, contrary to market talk that its purchase of Indonesia’s third largest listed oil palm planter was overpriced.....

FGV to raise RM1bil from non-core asset sale Thursday, 9 July 2015; KUALA LUMPUR: Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) plans to raise more than RM1bil selling non-core assets as the world’s biggest crude palm oil producer focuses on plantations to repair investor confidence dented by an acquisition. Unprofitable crushing and refining businesses in the US and Canada that have drawn initial bids ranging from US$180mil (RM686mil) to US$250mil (RM953mil) may be sold later this month, chief executive officer Emir Mavani Abdullah said in an interview. Holdings in a travel firm, and engineering and information technology units may fetch a further RM300mil, he said.

Dr Mahathir shared concerns over FGV listing, says activist Published: 6 July 2015 10:14 PM; Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had feared that the listing of Malaysia oil palm giant Felda Global Ventures Holdings (FGV) would not bode well for settlers under the government scheme to resettle and uplift the rural poor through smallholdings, an activist for Felda settlers said. National Felda Settlers' Children's Association (Anak) president Mazlan Aliman said this on his Facebook page after the non-governmental organisation met Dr Mahathir today at Perdana Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya. Mazlan, a PAS member, said the NGO had a one hour meeting with Dr Mahathir on Felda, FGV, Korporasi Permodalan Felda, 1Malaysia Development Berhad, the goods and services tax and his criticism against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1400601790726-3');}); "Why did FGV throw away money to buy hotels, factories and invest overseas when there are room and vast opportunities to do so at home? Buying assets at high prices and taking advantage for personal interests...Mazlan said Dr Mahathir's views on Felda's listing was the most interesting issue he spoke about at the meeting, adding that the former prime minister had also talked about Najib and the things he had done which have "jeopardised" the country. - See more at:

Felda Global to strengthen investments, drive growth, new acquisitions out Tuesday, 7 July 2015; PETALING JAYA: Plantation conglomerate Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) said it would not be looking at any new acquisitions but would focus on strengthening its investments. “FGV will not be pursuing more acquisitions we will consolidate all our investments and drive growth,” the group said in a statement yesterday. “FGV will also focus on integrating and extracting efficiencies of recent acquisitions. Our goal is to empower management teams, guided by a unifying vision and culture of performance and sustainability,” it added.  In the last three years, FGV had spent more than RM4bil on mergers and acquisitions, comprising mainly brownfield plantations to fast-track growth expansion and improve its crop age profile.....

Volac, Wilmar form global animal feed fats business Published on: Jul 6, 2015; Volac International Ltd. and Wilmar International Ltd. announced July 6 the creation of a joint venture group to develop their added value animal feed fat business around the world. Volac Wilmar Feed Ingredients combines the nutritional reputation, global brand and sales network of Volac with the operational raw material logistics and scale of Wilmar. The joint venture will focus on animal feed fats, supporting the dairy farming industry through nutritional expertise, by marketing an expanded "MEGA" branded range of feed fat products that will be responsibly sourced through a leading sustainability approach and by maximizing operational efficiency. Volac Animal Nutrition managing director David Neville said, "Volac believes that responsibly sourced feed fats will play a key role in sustainable livestock nutrition in the future and, therefore, we are expanding our fats business as part of our company strategy. The joint venture with  ilmar will supply sustainable and traceable fat nutrition ingredients, which will help improve the productivity of livestock production across world markets." Napoleon Pefianco, managing director of Wilmar Europe Holdings B.V., added that the two companies "have an aspiration to set the agenda for sustainability. Through the joint venture, we will use our combined resources to develop sustainable feed ingredients globally, putting the joint venture at the leading edge of ethically sourced feed fat ingredients." Volac and Wilmar have an existing business relationship through a joint venture called Volac Ingredients Sdn. Bhd. (VISB), which is based in Malaysia and was established in 2003. This joint venture produces MEGALAC rumen-protected fat under license in China. Volac is a privately-owned business based near Cambridge, U.K., that focuses on improving livestock productivity and helping consumers to live healthier lives for longer.

Tesco stake sale seen as in line with Sime Darby’s plan Thursday, 9 July 2015  By: EUGENE MAHALINGAM; PETALING JAYA: The proposed disposal of Sime Darby Bhd’s 30% stake in Tesco Malaysia will be in line with the plantation giant’s move to dispose of its non-core business and ease future cashflow.... MIDF Research, in a report yesterday, noted that Tesco Malaysia only accounted for 0.6% of Sime Darby’s total earnings last year. “In its financial year ended June 30, 2014 (FY14), Tesco Malaysia contributed RM25mil to Sime Darby’s profit before interest and taxes (PBIT). “Against the group’s PBIT of RM4.22bil, it was only 0.6%,” it said, adding that Sime’s Darby’s net asset for its 30% stake in Tesco Malaysia was RM94.4mil based on its FY14 annual report.” AmResearch in its report yesterday said the disposal of Tesco Malaysia, if it happened, could help Sime Darby to part-finance the recent acquisition of New Britain Palm Oil Ltd (NBPOL). “This could be positive from a cash flow point of view, and a disposal of its stake in Tesco Malaysia would be in line with a disposal of a non-core business,” it said...........

From palm waste to wealth Updated: Monday July 20, 2015 MYT 8:17:00 AM; Datuk Joseph Lim Heng Ye, 41, is now a well-known figure in the green business scene, having built up his startup which focused on turning palm waste into revenue-generating bio-products since 2008. Global Green Synergy Sdn Bhd (GGS), the company Lim founded together with Ngan Teng Ye, has now become a significant SME player in the local biomass sector. The company converts palm oil waste (biomass) into palm fiber, palm pellet and other palm-related products. It also makes the machines that produce these products. After Lim won the prestigious World Creative Young Entrepreneur Award (2011-World Champion Winner) by Brussels-based Junior Chamber International in 2011, there has been no shortage of green jobs for GGS. The RMB1bil project to green the Kubuqi Desert in Inner Mongolia, which sees GGS partnering with China’s Elion Resources Group, is just the latest example. And a whopper it is, too. Back in 2013, the company set up a joint venture with Malaysia Palm Oil Board to produce palm bio-briquette to be used as biofuel. Yet another achievement for GGS is its partnership with Chinalight (Guangzhou) Import & Export Corp in October 2013 to supply biomass pellets to the Chinese power giant.....

8 July 2015: Najib announces RM88.8 million for Felda settlers, and highlights FGV plan to buy 420,000 ha in PNG

Najib announces RM88.8 million for Felda settlers, payment starts next week Published: 7 July 2015 8:39 PM; "We need to be with Felda, do not stray too far away... actually those who confuse Felda people are those who come to Felda like pests out to poison the minds of settlers so much so when we do good, the people say otherwise," he told Bernama. He said Felda has various plans to improve the income of settlers and overcome the constraints of land to be developed as plantations in the country. He added that FGV planned to purchase 420,000 hectares of land in Papua New Guinea which could generate revenue double the amount in this country as the volcanic land there is fertile. - See more at:

26 June 2015: Australian sugar industry reject Wilmar proposal, farmers prepare to fight, Wilmar calls on Singapore help to fight back - on Australia FTA obligation breach, Wilmar calls up boats for almost all record ICE sugar delivery, FGV Trading targets RM6-8 billion revenue, PT Eagle High Plantations unit in spotlight on forest clearance, FGV’s Indonesian deal a bailout for Najib crony, say bankers  - The Edge Review, Indonesia's Rajawali to maintain 2.55% stake in FGV (on Thursday it said it would like to hold at least 21% of FGV if the Malaysian firm decides to seek a controlling stake), Heng Huat Resources invests RM35m to expand in Kelantan, Indonesia's PT Indofood Sukses Makmur  plans sugar investment, eastern Indonesia prepares 500,000 ha for sugar and cattle investors

Australian sugar industry reject Wilmar proposal, puts government under spotlight SYDNEY, June 25  |  By Colin Packham;  Australian sugar growers on Thursday rejected a marketing proposal from the country's largest sugar processor Wilmar International Ltd, saying it does not guarantee top prices, and called for laws that give them a say in exports. Wilmar, MSF Sugar, owned by Thai sugar giant Mitr Phol , and the Australian unit of Chinese agribusiness COFCO Corp plan to stop selling sugar through the industry-owned marketing body from 2017. Australian sugar is currently controlled by an independent entity, Queensland Sugar Limited. The three processors want to bypass the industry body and use their own exporting arm, which they say will allow them to control their supply chains and maximise revenues. But the move is unpopular with sugar farmers in Australia, the world's third largest exporter of raw sweetener. Sugar cane must be processed within a day of being harvested and with no alternative millers nearby, growers say they have no choice but to sell to the three processors and have little assurance on crop prices."An Australian sugar farmer should have free choice in his economic destiny and the Wilmar proposal does not allow that," said Steve Guazzo, chairman of the industry body, CANEGROWERS....

Debate on sugar marketing escalates 19th Jun 2015 5:00 AM; THE SINGAPORE government has become another player in the escalating debate between cane growers and sugar marketing giant Wilmar. Two codes of conduct, which would ensure growers have a choice in cane marketing and would retain existing market arrangements, are making their way through parliament. This followed Wilmar's announcement they planned to exit current sugar marketing arrangements during 2016. But a Wilmar executive general manager Shayne Rutherford said the proposed codes of conduct had prompted the company to raise concerns with the Singapore government. "We have raised our concerns about the expropriation of our manufactured sugar with both the Australian and Singapore governments," Mr Rutherford said. "Why would anyone want to invest in an Australian manufacturing or processing business if it doesn't own and control the product it makes?" He said the codes would likely breach free trade agreement obligations.

Farmers prepare to fight Asian tycoon over sugar marketing   Glen Norris  The Courier-Mail  June 15, 2015 11:43AM  The tranquil green fields of Australia’s biggest sugar growing district have become the focus of a battle between cane farmers and one of Asia’s richest men.  At stake farmers say is how they will be paid for their crop by mills owned by Robert Kuok’s giant Wilmar Sugar when new marketing arrangements are introduced in 2017. The escalating conflict comes as the Federal Government considers a mandatory code for the sugar industry that would give farmers greater rights to dispute contracts with millers. Wilmar and other foreign millers last year announced they would pull out of a long-standing arrangement whereby most sugar was marketed through the not-for-profit Queensland Sugar Ltd (QSL) and deal directly with farmers. Fearing Wilmar will use its market power to push prices down, Burdekin farmers last year formed their own company to allow them to better negotiate with the huge agribusiness that owns eight mills in central and north Queensland.

Wilmar calls up boats for almost all record ICE sugar delivery; Jun 25, 20157:23 PM [SINGAPORE] Wilmar International Ltd said it has booked for shipment almost all the 1.9 million tonnes of sugar it scooped up two months ago in the biggest-ever exchange deal, even as traders fret about weak demand and low prices. The Singapore firm, one of the biggest merchants in the 180-million tonne sugar market, has booked spots on vessels for all but 100,000 tonnes of the US$550 million worth of sugar it bought when the May contract expired. Wilmar expects to call on sellers to load the remaining tonnage this week, the company said in an emailed statement. After months of uncertainty about the pace of the shipments from Brazil and Central and South American growers, the news may help restore some calm to the sweetener market. Prices languish near 6-1/2-year lows as the market struggles through a fifth straight surplus year.

Shree Renuka Sugars Ltd appoints nominee directors of Wilmar Sugar Holdings Pte Ltd. Posted On: 2015-06-24 11:14:07  The Board of Directors of Shree Renuka Sugars Ltd at its meeting held on June 24, 2015, approved the appointment of Mr. Jean-Luc Bohbot and Mr. AtuI Chaturvedi as Nominee Directors of Wilmar Sugar Holdings Pte Ltd., w.e.f. June 24, 2015.

FGV Trading targets RM6-8 billion revenue this year Published: 19 June 2015 5:01 PM  Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV)'s wholly owned subsidiary, FGV Trading, is targeting revenue of between RM6 billion and RM8 billion this year. FGV’s transformation plan, which channeled its oil trading activities through FGV Trading, showed impressive growth with a revenue of RM2.5 billion in just four months of its trading operations since February, said a statement. Head of trading & marketing and logistics (TML) cluster Datuk Khairil Anuar Aziz said FGV Trading would become the second largest contributor to the group's revenue, at 34 %. "So far, FGV Trading has traded 1.3 million tonnes of crude palm oil (CPO) and this is a good achievement for a new company," he said. He added that FGV Trading aimed to trade 4.7 million tonnes of CPO, 60% from internal CPO, while the rest will be from external sources. FGV Trading, which is now headed by chief executive officer Datuk Wira Adam, also planned to explore the potential of other high-value vegetables oils, for example coconut oil from the Philippines for the international market. Its traditional market included China, Japan, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, as well as, the Indo-China region such as Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos, the statement said, adding that it was also involved in the premium market for countries in Europe. In line with FGV’s land bank expansion and increase in CPO production, FGV Trading is also eyeing new markets among the countries of West Asia, the Mediterranean, North Africa, Eastern Europe and the Balkan regions.

Indonesia's Rajawali to maintain 2.55% stake in Felda Global Ventures By: IZWAN IDRIS, SHARIDAN M. ALI Friday, 26 June 2015 PETALING JAYA: The Rajawali Group has no immediate plans to seek a bigger stake in Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV), even as the two companies plan to complete a deal by August.... 

UPDATE 2-Rajawali wants bigger Felda stake if Felda sees control of Eagle High By Cindy Silviana and Eveline Danubrata Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:05am EDT  * Felda's offer for 37 pct of Eagle High is too high-analysts * Felda shares down over 6 pct after announcing offer * Five bidders for Rajawali stake in Nusantara Infrastructure (Adds no comment from Felda, clarifies that Felda is the world's third biggest palm oil plantation operator) JAKARTA, June 25 (Reuters) - Indonesia's Rajawali Group said on Thursday it would like to hold at least 21 percent of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd if the Malaysian firm decides to seek a controlling stake in Rajawali unit PT Eagle High Plantations Tbk.

Felda Global Venture’s Indonesian deal a bailout for Najib crony, say bankers BY LESLIE LOPEZ Published: 19 June 2015 9:00 AM; State-controlled Felda Global Ventures Bhd, Malaysia’s largest listed plantation company, is touting its US$746 million (RM2.8 billion) purchase of a clutch of plantation and sugar assets owned by Indonesian tycoon Tan Sri Peter Sondakh as a demonstration of economic integration among the 10-member Asean. But portfolio investors and bankers are panning the acquisition, arguing that the deal is hugely expensive for Felda and smacks of a bailout for the Sondakh, who enjoys close ties to Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Coming on the heels of the widening furore surrounding debt-laden sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), the deal is raising serious corporate governance concerns over the management of so-called government-linked companies which dominate the Malaysian economy and use of public funds.... The deal, which will be financed through borrowings and internal reserves of Felda, will largely wipe out its cash reserves, which currently amount to RM2.87 billion (US$768 million)..... Sondakh’s Rajawali Group, on the other hand, is getting a sweetheart deal. Despite paying such a huge premium for its 37% equity interest in Eagle High, Felda will not gain management control of the company. The Rajawali group, with a reduced stake of 31.6%, will continue to run the company. The Sondakh-controlled group will also receive an immediate deposit payment of US$174 million, or roughly 23% of the total acquisition price, from Felda even before the completion of due diligence on the assets and cross-border regulatory approvals are obtained for the transaction. Bankers and investment analysts in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur say that the deal will provide a crucial financial lifeline to Sondakh, who has been struggling with his creditors to service debt obligations after an aggressive expansion into plantations and mining backfired following the collapse of commodity prices.....

One of Indonesia’s Richest Men Is Bullish on Commodity Processing  Jun 26, 2015; As the head of one of Indonesia’s largest investment companies, Peter Sondakh knows to follow market trends. It’s the reason he took up smoking cigars last year, he says, beneath the whir of air purifiers in his office. It’s also, he says, partly why he’s selling off stakes in his palm oil plantation – Indonesia’s third largest – in the hope of moving toward processing, refining and trading at a time when slumping commodity prices and weakened demand for raw materials from China have dented the economy. “I pride myself in adding value,” said Mr. Sondakh, whose PT Rajawali Corp. is one of Indonesia’s biggest conglomerates with investments in mining, property, plantations and media. “Added value products will have more profit.”... The need seems all the more urgent now that consumer spending, which makes up more than half of the country’s GDP, is dropping off. Mr. Sondakh says he’s concerned by the slump in consumption. Rajawali plans to divest shares in one of the country’s largest taxi operators, PT Express Transindo Utama, and focus on its core business sectors – mining, plantations and property.... Since Mr. Sondakh founded Rajawali in the 1980s, he’s earned a reputation for turning around ailing companies. He has also become one of Indonesia’s richest men; Forbes estimated his net worth this year at $2.3 billion. In the early 1990s Mr. Sondakh bought a bankrupt cigarette company, PT Bentoel Investama, and later sold his majority stake to British American Tobacco for $494 million. He bought cement producer Semen Gresik (now Semen Indonesia) for just $336.7 million, eventually selling it to the government in an equity transaction that raised $1.08 billion...

Malaysia's Felda Global to raise funds to buy stake in Eagle High KUALA LUMPUR, June 16

Felda buy in Indonesian company above market rate, says veteran newsman Published: 14 June 2015 9:34 AM
Palm oil giants to investigate company found razing Papuan rainforest; Monday 22 June 2015; Agribusiness giants Cargill and Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) are pledging to investigate a palm oil supplier after an Indonesian environmental group presented evidence of rainforest clearing in New Guinea. On Thursday, Greenomics-Indonesia released a report documenting destruction of forests in South Sorong, a regency in West Papua, Indonesian New Guinea. Greenomics found that PT Varia Mitra Andalan (VMA), a subsidiary of publicly-listed PT Eagle High Plantations Tbk, continued to clear high carbon stock forests through March 2015, potentially putting it in breach of sustainability commitments established last year by Cargill and GAR. Both companies buy significant volumes of product from Eagle High Plantations, according to public disclosures.  The findings led Greenomics to call on the companies to respect their “deforestation-free” sourcing policies. Both companies are signatories of the Indonesian Palm Oil Pledge (IPOP), a corporate commitment to eliminate deforestation from supply chains...

Here Are 5 Of Singapore’s Cheapest Blue Chip Shares By Chong Ser Jing - June 26, 2015; There are many ways to value a stock and one popular method is to focus on its book value. The book value of a company is the cash that can theoretically be returned to its shareholders after the firm liquidates all its assets and settles all its obligations. Mathematically, the book value’s given in the formula below:
Book value = Total assets – Total liabilities. Companies with a price-to-book ratio of below 1 are selling for lower than their book values and investors who are able to buy such shares are therefore getting their hands on a potential bargain. With this in mind, the quintet of Golden Agri-Resources Ltd (SGX: E5H), Noble Group Limited (SGX: N21), Hongkong Land Holdings Limited (SGX: H78), Jardine Strategic Holdings Limited (SGX: J37), and CapitaLand Limited (SGX: C31) might rightfully be called Singapore’s cheapest blue chips; they have the lowest PB ratios (see table below) amongst the 30 constituents of Singapore’s market barometer, the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI).

Heng Huat Resources invests RM35m to expand in Kelantan  Thursday, 25 June 2015; KUALA LUMPUR: Heng Huat Resources Group Bhd is investing RM35mil to expand its operations in Gua Musang, Kelantan to process oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) fibre. It said on Thursday the new plant would enable the group to meet the rising demand from China and also export to new markets in Australia, South Korea and Japan. Managing director H’ng Choon Seng said the new plant would source the  raw material from palm oil mills in Kelantan which could provide a sustainable supply of EFB. Of the RM35mil, it would use RM11mil to purchase the land and build the factory, RM12mil for the machinery and RM2mil for vehicles and equipment. The remaining RM10mil would be for a biomass co-generation power plant which would enable the it to reduce its operating costs through better energy-efficiency and re-utilisation of production waste materials. The capital expenditure would be from bank borrowings and its own funds. Heng Huat currently has two oil palm EFB fibre factories in Seberang Perai, Penang.  The new plant in Gua Musang would increase its total oil palm EFB fibre production lines from 20 lines to 27 lines and annual production capacity rising from 100,500 tonnes to more than 135,000 tonnes. The new manufacturing facility is targeted to be operational in the second quarter of 2016. H’ng explained Heng Huat had been expanding its fibre exports to China and the expansion is timely as its plants are now running at 90% capacity.

BLD strives to keep costs low in midst of challenging outlook by Ronnie Teo, June 18, 2015, Thursday; KUCHING: BLD Plantation Bhd (BLD) aims to keep its costs low amidst a challenging outlook for the palm oil industry as crude palm oil (CPO) prices remain lacklustre. According to executive chairman Datuk Henry Lau, global demand for palm oil and its related products have not been as encouraging as expected. This was on the back of increasing costs of operations including minimum wages, goods and services which Lau said were generally on the uptrend....

Ta Ann enters into JV for oil palm projects Posted on 23 June 2015 - 05:40am PETALING JAYA: Ta Ann Holdings Bhd, which lost a legal battle to native owners in Sarawak over customary land last year, is making a second attempt at expanding its palm oil landbank in the state via a joint venture (JV). Ta Ann's plans to collaborate with the Sarawak state government and Native Customary Rights (NCR) owners to implement oil palm development projects spread over 28,195 ha in the state. Ta Ann's unit, Ta Ann Plantation Sdn Bhd (TAP), yesterday entered into two JV agreements with Pelita Holdings Sdn Bhd (PHSB), the trustee to the NCR owner, to develop 17,017 ha in Sibu and 11,178 ha in Kapit. In a Bursa Malaysia announcement yesterday, Ta Ann said the projects are "replacement" projects for the failed project entered into in Sept 28, 2012 between TAP and PHSB with the land owners owners at Matu-Daro, Mukah division; Tambirat-Asajaya, Kota Samarahan division; and Sebuyau Sebangan, Kota Samarahan division, all in Sarawak
Indonesia's PT Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk, one of the world's biggest instant noodle makers, plans to invest $150 million to build a sugar processing facility in eastern Indonesia, Kontan reported on Thursday.

Govt prepares areas for sugar, cattle investors Grace D. Amianti, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Thu, June 18 2015, 9:01 AM; The 26 investors who expressed a keen interest in entering the country’s sugar industry consisted of 11 refined sugar producers and 15 sugarcane plantation companies, Franky said. “There are also around two to three Japanese investors who are interested in investing in the sugar industry. However, most of the time, in the sugar sector, foreign direct investors choose to first collaborate with their local partners in joint-venture companies,” Franky said. According to his ministry’s calculations, Amran said, a sugar refinery with a capacity to process 10,000 tons of sugarcane per day would cost about Rp 5 trillion (US$374.4 million) to build. The Agriculture Ministry has also run the plan by the Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya, who agreed that the land in the three regions would be able to support the industry, Amran added. “We are planning to allocate 500,000 hectares of land in the three regions, calculating that one mill with a plantation will need at least 50,000 ha of land,” Amran said. Aside from the sugar industry, Amran said at least nine foreign and domestic investors also showed an interest in investing in Indonesia’s cattle sector, which would be located in regions such as East and West Nusa Tenggara, Buru Island in Maluku and East Kalimantan.

What are the Top Five Brands Bought by Indonesian Consumers? 08 June 2015 The five top brands that are purchased most often by Indonesian households are Indomie, Mie Sedaap, Royco, So Klin and Frisian Flag. This is the result of research conducted by Kantar Worldpanel (KW), a global research firm that investigates consumers' purchasing behaviour. Fabrice Carrasco, KW’s Managing Director for Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines, wrote in a statement received on Monday that more than 90 percent of Indonesian households buy the five above-mentioned brands.

25 June 2015: UOBKH: Felda Global Ventures (FGV MK) - Plans For Its Indonesian Partnership, Sawit Sumbermas seeks Rp 3t/US$226 mill for refinancing, expansion - Jakarta Post

Sawit Sumbermas seeks Rp 3t for refinancing, expansion The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Wed, June 24 2015, 9:46 AM; Publicly listed palm oil company Sawit Sumbermas Sarana is looking for Rp 3 trillion (US$226 million) in loans to refinance its debts and expand production, a company executive has said.Around Rp 2.36 trillion will come from syndicated loans from the country’s largest lender Bank Mandiri, while the remaining Rp 730 billion will come from state-owned financing agency Indonesia Eximbank.The company will use half of the total loans to refinance its debts to Bank Mandiri, worth Rp 1.3 trillion, and to Indonesia Eximbank, worth Rp 700 billion.Another Rp 1.5 trillion will be spent on the company’s capital expenditure to boost its production performance in both the upstream and downstream sectors, including to fund a new acquisition.“We need to take out loans as we have to maintain our cash,” finance director Harry M. Nadir said in Jakarta on Tuesday, adding that the company — which will offer its land-use permit (HGU), including land assets, as a guarantee — expected the five-year loans to be secured early in the second semester.Sawit Sumbermas spent around Rp 1.5 trillion to acquire PT Tanjung Sawit Abadi (TSA) and PT Sawit Multi Utama (SMU) in February, in an attempt to increase production capacity. - See more at:

UOBKH: Felda Global Ventures (FGV MK) - Plans For Its Indonesian Partnership, Thursday, 25 June 2015; FGV clarified concern over its partnership with Rajawali Group in Eagle High Plantation. Key messages are it is: a) penetrating large greenfield and brownfield developments, b) buying the sugar plantation to gain exposure to the lucrative sugar business, and c) exploring further in the downstream and consumer segments with Rajawali. FGV reported EV of US$17,400 per planted hectare, which excludes the valuation of the unplanted 267,000ha landbank..... FGV’s justification for the high valuation of the acquisition. FGV indicated that the acquisition price is fair and derived using a DCF method assuming long-term CPO price of RM2,900/tonne and discount rate of 9%. The valuation is lower than that for the acquisitions in the past three years, and slightly below the US$17,700/ha transacted in the land disposal by Tabung Haji in 2012. Also, this acquisition is expected to be earnings accretive by 2018 when more of BWPT’s planted hectarage move into young prime areas. .... Happy with a 37% stake for now. While FGV has no intention to do a mandatory general offer (GO) to increase its stake in BWPT, it may raise its stake in the future to consolidate BWPT into FGV. If FGV were to do a GO now, it would need to fork out
another U$1,833m, which we think is difficult for FGV, given its high gearing post the 37%
stake acquisition.....

23 June 2015: Ta Ann new NCR JV for 60% stake in 17,000 ha (60% plantable; Sibu and Kapit area) replaces 2012 agreements revoked for lack of land owners' interest; BLD questioned over "no deforestation, no peatland" policy; Palm oil a matter of national security for Malaysia (especially for smallholder interests) - opinion -

22 June 2015: FGV falls 3.4% after defending Eagle High acquisition - The Edge; an argument for the deal - it's strategic partnership to benefit smallholders and other stakeholders?

FGV falls 3.4% after defending Eagle High acquisition by Ahmad Naqib Idris /, 22 June 2015;

FGV-EHP partnership: a way forward to prosperity for two nations – HS Dillon Published: 20 June 2015 12:49 PM; The recent press statements reporting that Felda Global Ventures (FGV) intends to buy a substantial stake in EHP, and the ensuing debate, revive old memories. It is indeed remarkable that what had been my dream as a senior official of Indonesia's Ministry of Agriculture, thwarted by vested-interests nearly quarter of a century ago, is now being promoted by visionary entrepreneurs.
Obsessed with creating greater equality in rural Indonesia, I gladly welcomed my appointment as Head of The Team for Restructuring State-owned Plantations in 1993. Due to strong support from the then very honest minister of finance, Marie Muhammad, we managed to consolidate the previous 26 separate corporate entities into nine plantation groups. Talking to the press after the brief meeting, the PM stated that Malaysia, facing land constraints, had no other option but to invest in oil-palm plantations in Indonesia. We then started to explore avenues for cooperation with senior Malaysian officials, including private placement into our state plantations. With the best Malaysian plantation management practices, utilising state-of-the-art technology, and good corporate governance, we could have launched an IPO within five to six years after entering into such a partnership. Therein, the Malaysian investors would have reaped relatively quick yields, and our state-owned plantations would have ranked among the best. Of course, the powers that be in Indonesia, gleaning rents from the status quo, did not allow this to materialise; but that is a different story.... Most of the current exchange has revolved around whether the Heads of Agreement signed last week by the two parties is commercially sound, in the narrow sense of generating immediate profits for their shareholders....But that which has been omitted from the exchange is what interests me the most: the smallholders and other stakeholders. This is more than just another B2B deal, it is a People-Private Partnership on both sides. Most observers apparently are not aware of the genesis of FGV, and do not realise that more than a 100,000 members of Felda are shareholders. Around 60 years ago, former prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman decided to launch a massive initiative to help poor rural households climb out of poverty, who at point were not very different from their Indonesian cousins.....Education and rural infrastructure managed to lay the foundations of a productive middle-class. Now the descendants of the erstwhile poor Malaysian smallholders have become bosses, with oil-palm holdings being tended by the progeny of the still poor rural Indonesian households. Indeed, by overcoming rent and wage barriers to expansion, this FGV-EHP partnership should enable Felda members to continue earning handsome returns, but around the same number of Indonesian smallholders already partnering with EHP in contract-farming schemes, also stand to benefit.....FGV institutional memory would be better suited to striking rapport with rural Papuan households, for instance, than the colonial institutional memory inherited by a number of Indonesian plantation managers.....What would be the repercussions, or what economists call second-round effects? Other Indonesian plantation groups might enter into such partnerships to remain competitive...

The Edge articles:

21 June 2015: Genting Plantations in WSJ article on ties with 1MDB and politics

20 June 2015: Rajawali and FGV talk of rationale for investment plan

Rajawali to adopt Felda’s technology for business expansion Anggi M. Lubis, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Thu, June 18 2015, 9:26 AM; Industrial conglomerate PT Rajawali Corpora says it plans to strengthen its downstream palm oil business by adopting technology from a Malaysian company that recently bought its shares in local oil palm company PT Eagle High Plantation (EHP).Rajawali Corpora managing director Darjoto Setyawan said Rajawali had no plan to fully divest its ownership in the palm oil plantation after releasing 37 percent of total 68.5 percent stakes it had to Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV), the world’s largest crude palm oil (CPO) producer.According to Darjoto, Rajawali is instead looking to enhance its business using cutting-edge technology it hopes to adopt from FGV.Rajawali and Felda signed the deal last week in a ceremony attended by Coordinating Economic Minister Sofjan Djalil and Malaysia’s International Trade and Industry Minister, Dato Sri Mustapa Mohamed - See more at:

FGV eyes EHP acquisition in bid to further palm oil interests Friday June 19, 201509:55 PM GMT+8 - KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 — Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) today clarified that its proposed investment in PT Eagle High Plantations (EHP) is in line with its plan to become a world leading integrated palm oil plantation company. “The proposed investment would increase landbank, improve age profile of crops, cost optimisation and provide strategic long-term partnership, with a conglomerate in Indonesia,” FGV said in a statement today.  FGV refers to article “EPF hopes FGV will address valuation concern on PT Eagle High” as reported by Bernama on Wednesday, questioning the rationale for the US$680 million, or RM2.55 billion, proposed acquisition of EHP from Rajawali Group which has been regarded as too expensive by analysts.  The partnership, FGV said, would also provide access to Asean’s largest single market, allowing FGV to gain a foothold in a key palm oil supply market.  FGV said it was important to note that the proposal implied equity value /hectare (ha) for the planted hectarage of Rajawali at approximately US$17,400, which was lower than the recent reported transactions involving Sime Darby Bhd’s acquisition of New Britain Palm Oil Ltd (US$25,900) and IOI Corp Bhd’s takeover of Unico-Desa Plantations (US$23,500).
In comparing with recent Indonesian transactions, hectarages involved were small in nature, of less than 70,000 ha, said FGV. From a corporate perspective, FGV said, this deal presented it with a great opportunity as part of its expansion plan. EHP owns 425,000 ha, with 67 per cent in Kalimantan.—Bernama - See more at:

16 June 2015: FGV - Eagle High deal - The Edge reports 23% down payment prior to S&P agreement and Peter Sondakh / Rajawali cash raising and strategic deal witnessed by Sofyan Djalil (Econ Coordinating Minister) and Malayisa MITI's Mustapa Mohamed - Jakarta Globe

Rajawali Piles Up Cash, Gets Ready for More Acquisitions By Vanesha Manuturi on 05:08 pm Jun 14, 2015.... The venture would mark Rajawali’s second sale this year as the group works to focus on its other core businesses: property and mining.... Peter (Sondakh) built his reputation by buying then selling companies with a hefty profit in the past decade. The conglomerate’s most lucrative deals include the sale of Bentoel International Investama for $494 million in 2009 to British American Tobacco. In 2010, Rajawali sold $1 billion worth of shares in Semen Gresik, which it bought from Mexican cement maker Cemex for $337 million in 2006.....The business conglomerate — whose businesses range from palm oil, property to mining — signed an agreement with executives from Felda Global Venture on Friday, witnessed by Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Economy Sofyan Djalil and Malaysia’s Minister of International Trade and Industry Mustapa Mohamed.
The acquisition deal is expected to be completed by August, according to Darjoto. “This strategic partnership is a great collaborative example that is beneficial to both Indonesia and Malaysia,” Darjoto told reporters after the signing event in Jakarta on Friday.

source: image of article header in The Edge Malaysia

15 June 2015: Analysts worry about FGV - Eagle High deal. FGV shares move down toward analyst lowered price outlooks.

AMBank: Felda Global: No earnings enhancement from Eagle High investment: We are downgrading Felda Global Ventures (FGV) ..... We have reduced FGV’s FY16F EPS by 6% to account for the dilutive impact of the US$680mil investment in 37% of Eagle High and US$67mil acquisition of 95% of Rajawali’s sugar assets.

CIMB: FGV has entered into a Heads of Agreement with Rajawali group to buy a 37% stake in PT Eagle High Plantations (EHP) and a 95% stake in its sugar assets for US$746m (RM2.8bn)...... (3) we estimate the acquisition could dilute its FY16 net profit by 10%; and (4) net gearing will rise to 1.43x from 1.05x and cashflow will be negatively impacted. ....Key potential de-rating catalysts are this proposal and earnings risk.

source: screenshots from

10 June 2015: Unilever Indonesia capex spend of up to $90 million per year

Unilever Sets Aside $90m for Indonesia Expansion By Vanesha Manuturi & Antonia Timmerman on 07:27 pm Jun 08, 2015; Home and personal care products make up 73 percent of Unilever Indonesia's sales, with food and refreshment products accounting for the remainder. (Antara Photo/Zabur Karuru)
Jakarta. Unilever Indonesia, one of the largest listed consumer goods producers in Indonesia, is setting aside Rp 1.2 trillion ($90 million) for investment this year as the firm foresees a continuing slowdown in consumer demand for the remainder of the year. “Our [capital expenditure] is set to range from about Rp 1 trillion to Rp 1.2 trillion. It’s around the same amount as what we invested last year. We still believe in Indonesia for the long-term,” Sancoyo Antarikso, corporate secretary at Unilever Indonesia, told a press conference in Jakarta on Monday. Much of the spending — funding for which will mostly be sought internally — is meant to increase the company’s plant capacity, improve distribution networks, as well as adding more ice cream cabinets in stores across Indonesia, Sancoyo explained. First established in 1933, Unilever Indonesia, the local arm of British-Dutch multinational consumer goods company Unilever, is among a slew of publicly-listed companies in Indonesia that have announced less-than-ambitious expansion plans this year amid a weak local currency and a nationwide economic slowdown. Indonesia, where household spending accounts for some 56 percent of the economy, grew 4.7 percent between January and March — its slowest pace of growth in five years. Meanwhile, the rupiah has depreciated by nearly 6 percent against the US dollar so far this year, data from the central bank showed.

8 June 2015:  APRIL promises stop harvesting of natural forest; FGV price fall questions; Wilmar news items - in spite of new moves, more criticisms; supplier issues highlight by FPP and Australia sugar tussles, GAR in Liberia and Moody's spotlight, Sime Darby credit rating cut

Deforestation, exploitation, hypocrisy: no end to Wilmar's palm oil land grabs Anne van Schaik & Godwin Ojo 27th May 2015 With the deadline due this year for the full implementation of Wilmar's 'No peat, no deforestation, no exploitation' promise, the oil palm giant is keen to push its green image in Europe. But for communities suffering its land grabs in Nigeria, nothing has changed. While Wilmar spins green rhetoric, its bulldozers are still destroying vast swathes of forest and farmland.

Ghosts of problems past and present loom over Nigerian palm oil plans  by A youth leader who lives near one of Wilmar's Nigerian oil palm projects shows an alternative water hole the community has dug as a result of the ...

GAR, Wilmar punish palm oil supplier for clearing rainforest in New Guinea Wilmar, another palm oil titan, put its business with the company, Austindo Nusantara Jaya (ANJ) Agri, on hold in April, though it waited nine months ...
Golden Agri's Liberia unit under sustainability fire by Chan Yi Wen The Business TimesTuesday, Jun 02, 2015 Last week's violent demonstrations at Golden Veroleum Liberia's (GVL) plantations in south-east Liberia came after recent criticisms levelled at GVL, and its lead investor Singapore-listed palm oil giant Golden Agri-Resources, for its efforts (or lack thereof) at sustainability. The blow-ups at GVL's plantations last Tuesday were started by a local group with specific grievances, which included the desire for more jobs to be made available to the community, GVL said on its website.
GVL's narrative runs contrary to a Reuters report that had speculated the riots were sparked by the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), a group campaigning for the rights of indigenous people.
In April, FPP had accused GVL of taking land without community consent. - See more at:

Rating Action: Moody's changes Golden Agri-Resources' outlook to negative; affirms Ba2 Global Credit Research - 03 Jun 2015  Singapore, June 03, 2015 -- Moody's Investors Service has changed to negative from stable the outlook for Golden Agri-Resources Ltd ("GAR").  At the same time, Moody's has affirmed GAR's Ba2 corporate family rating. The outlook change reflects the continued deterioration in GAR's credit metrics, arising in turn from falling palm oil prices and weak returns from its heavy investment in downstream activities.  Accordingly, leverage has risen, with debt/EBITDA rising to 5.7x for the financial year ended 31 December 2014 from 2.4x in the year ended 31 December 2012.  At the same time, liquidity has tightened, with short-term debt totaling $1.72 billion as of 31 March 2015, including the likely put of its $400 million convertible bond on 4 October 2015. However, since March, GAR has issued SGD200 milllion of notes due 2018.
"From being strongly positioned for its rating range in late 2012, GAR's credit metrics have deteriorated steadily," says Alan Greene, a Moody's Vice President and Senior Credit Officer.

Palm oil regulator asked to investigate illegal land grabs by Wilmar Group supplier in Borneo News Date: 2nd June 2015 Borneo human rights organization files complaint alleging multiple breaches of RSPO standards by palm oil supplier PT. Swadaya Mukti Prakarsa / First Resources. By FPP.

'Trust, transparency and more power to growers' only way forward for divided sugar industry: new sugar chief by ABC Rural  By Charlie McKillop   Updated Thu at 8:34am  Queensland's peak sugar body has admitted it is no closer to reaching a compromise on marketing, despite renewed efforts to reopen negotiations with milling companies. After months of stalled negotiations, Canegrowers will meet with Australia's largest sugar milling company, Wilmar, in three weeks to discuss the preferred models being put forward by both parties.  Head of the State Government's sugar industry taskforce, George Christensen, also accused the Singaporean sugar giant of refusing to 'budge' on its initial position that would take growers' economic share out of the longstanding sugar pool.

Sugar code of conduct delayed but still on track to break sugar marketing deadlock: MP ABC Rural  Charlie McKillopUpdated Thu at 8:24am Cane growers have been told they will have to wait until the end of this month to hear from the federal taskforce set up to consider a sugar industry code of conduct. The head of the taskforce, George Christensen MP, said there had been a slight delay in the final report due to a flood of late submissions.  Audio: George Christensen says a sugar code of conduct will find a fairer way forward for growers against 'monopoly' millers (ABC Rural)
His comments come as the Federal Government announced a review of the code of conduct for the horticulture industry, a move widely welcomed by fruit and vegetable growers who say it has not met expectations. Mr Christensen said it highlighted the importance of the taskforce taking its time to "get it right" for the sugar industry.

Felda settler group rejects explanation on share price plunge BY SHERIDAN MAHAVERA Published: 31 May 2015 3:42 PM; Felda settlers have rejected Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad’s (FGVH) explanation that the fall in share prices and the company’s poor performance were partly due to severe floods late last year which affected its plantation operations. National Felda Settlers' Children's Association (Anak), a group that represents settlers and their families, is also worried about blowback from the plunge in share prices, which have fallen by more than 50% since it was listed three years ago. Anak president Mazlan Aliman said the severe flooding occurred in Kelantan, which does not have much oil palm plantation. googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1400601790726-3');}); "The severe flooding happened in Kelantan, how many FGVH plantations are there in Kelantan?” Mazlan asked. According to FGVH’s website, its largest plantations in Malaysia are located in Pahang and Sabah. “The floods in Pahang were not as bad. I do not buy the explanation. I think it’s just an excuse for the company’s poor business decisions,” he told The Malaysian Insider when contacted. - See more at:

Conservationists press Jakarta to follow industry lead on forests Nicholas Perry, Associated Press, Jakarta | World | Sun, June 07 2015, 11:40 AM - See more at: Conservationists are urging the Indonesian government to listen to business and start taking deforestation seriously after a major paper giant joined the growing ranks of companies pledging to stop clearing forests. Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Ltd (APRIL), the second largest pulp and paper company in Indonesia, announced this week it had stopped harvesting natural forest in a move hailed by its former critic Greenpeace as a "major breakthrough". Indonesia has some of the world's most extensive and biodiverse rainforests, but huge swathes have been chopped down by palm oil, mining and timber companies. As a result, Southeast Asia's top economy has become the world's third-biggest carbon emitter. APRIL and its major rival Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), which together produce 80 percent of Indonesia's pulp products, have been accused of destroying vast tranches of the forests that are home to endangered species such as Sumatran orangutans and tigers. APRIL had only last year committed to phasing out deforestation in its supply chain by 2020, following APP's promise in 2013 to stop using any logs from Indonesia's natural forests in its mills. But in what APRIL's group president Praveen Singhavi called a major step in their "sustainability journey", the company ceased forest clearing in May and promised no new developments on Indonesian forest or peat land. - See more at:

Standard & Poor lowers Sime Darby credit rating 29 May 2015 @ 12:18 PM KUALA LUMPUR: Standard &Poor’s has lowered the credit rating on Sime Darby Bhd from A to negative outlook at A-.
The conglomerate’s acquisition of the palm oil plantation in Papua New Guinea New Britain Palm Oil Ltd (NBPOL), weaker operating cash flows and a weaker ringgit which have raised the company’s debt level were the reasons cited. "We lowered the ratings because of likely delays and amendments in the implementation of Sime Darby's deleveraging plan that could offset the impact of higher debt from the acquisition of NBPOL,” said S&P’s credit analyst Bertrand Jabouley.

28 May 2015: KLK buying Emery Germany oleochemical assets; slew of corporate results for Malaysia include Genting Plantations, TH Plantations, FGV, MSM, Hap Seng, TSH Resources, KLK, IOI etc.

KLK buying Sime Darby's Germany oleochemical assets By Chong Jin Hun /   | May 27, 2015 : 1:22 PM MYT     KUALA LUMPUR (May 27): Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK) ( Financial Dashboard) is buying Emery Oleochemical GmbH's assets in Germany in an all cash Euro 40.5 million (RM162 million) deal. Emery is a unit under Sime Darby Bhd ( Financial Dashboard) (fundamental: 0.8; valuation: 1.4). In a statement to Bursa Malaysia today, KLK (fundamental: 1; valuation: 1.1) said it had signed a conditional asset purchase agreement to buy Emery's plant, tangible assets and inventories. KLK said the transaction would enable the company to "diversify into the tallow-based market". Tallow is a substance derived from animal fat. KLK said the acquisition would also complement its existing fatty acid and glycerine business. KLK said the transaction was scheduled for completion by the third quarter of this year.

24 May 2015: Wilmar's 700,000 tonne sugar order - a substantial tonnage of sugar looking for a final home;  Sime Darby denies strike (its a go slow), results; TH Plantations sets RM 500 million revenue target; Equatorial Palm Oil, Praetorian, Benso Oil Palm

Wilmar nominated up to 700,000 T sugar on expiry so far-trade  Wed May 20, 2015 10:54am EDT By David Brough * Sugar finds homes in Morocco, Algeria, India, Malaysia * Market talk of some cancelled vessel nominations  LONDON, May 20 (Reuters) - Trading house Wilmar has nominated vessels to take some 600,000-700,000 tonnes of raw sugar so far from a record 1.9 million tonnes delivery against the ICE May expiry, trade sources said. Some trade sources said around 500,000 tonnes of further nominations had been withdrawn until a later date. That still leaves a substantial tonnage of sugar looking for a final home, they added. "The market was hoping they were missing something - that Wilmar has a big home for the sugar. But no one was missing anything," one London-based trade source said. A spokesman for Singapore-based Wilmar could not immediately be reached for comment. Trade sources said there was talk that Wilmar had nominated some vessels and later cancelled them in order to test whether those scheduled to deliver sugar had supplies available. European traders said they believed that Wilmar had taken sugar for end-destinations where it had access to refining capacity, such as Morocco, Algeria, India and Malaysia. "I would say at least 500,000 tonnes has been withdrawn for a later date," a European commodities trade source said.

Wilmar Intl Rating Lowered to Sell at Zacks (WLMIY) Posted by Seth Barnet on May 16th, 2015 // No Comments; Wilmar Intl l(NASDAQ:WLMIY) was downgraded by Zacks from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Friday. Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Wilmar International Limited is an agribusiness group. The Company captures the entire value chain of the agricultural commodity processing business, from origination and processing to the branding, merchandising and distribution of a wide range of agricultural products. Its business activities include oil palm cultivation, oilseeds crushing, edible oils refining, consumer pack edible oils processing and merchandising, specialty fats, oleochemicals and biodiesel manufacturing, and grains processing and merchandising. Wilmar International Limited is headquartered in Singapore, Singapore. “

Sime Darby denies strike (its a go slow) report  Published: Monday, 18 May 2015 02:10  The Management of  Sime Darby Plantation Liberia (SDPL) has clarified that there is no strike at its plantation contrary to report in the media. “What is happening is a “go slow” action, which means that employees are coming to work but mainly with a purpose of discussing work-related issues with the management”, a press release issued by the company on Sunday said. According to the release, every April the company in accordance with the Liberian tax regulation, deducts Vacation Leave Payment tax from pay-checks, which causes employees’ dissatisfaction, adding, “We are currently talking to the representatives of the workers’ union to explain the issue and resolve any misunderstanding.” Recently, an online news outlet, Global News Network Liberia, reported strike at China Union and Sime Darby Plantation Liberia.

Malaysia's Sime Darby Q3 net profit drops 54.7 pct y/y Industries  |  Fri May 22, 2015 12:48am EDT  May 22 Sime Darby Bhd, the world's biggest listed palm oil producer, announced on Friday a 54.7 percent drop in its third-quarter profit due to weak commodity prices.

Sime Darby sees palm oil at RM2,200-RM2,400 per tonne to year-end Published: 22 May 2015 4:50 PM Sime Darby expects palm oil prices to be between RM2,200 and RM2,400 per tonne. – The Malaysian Insider filepic, May 22, 2015. Palm oil prices will likely trade between RM2,200 and RM2,400 per tonne between now to the end of the year, said the chief executive of Malaysia's Sime Darby Bhd, the world's top oil palm planter by land size. That would be higher than the current Malaysian benchmark palm prices of RM2,136 (US$596.31). Sime Darby CEO Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh had in February forecast prices between RM2,300 and RM2,500 until June 2015. googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1400601790726-3');}); "If El Nino kicks in then the price could be higher. Otherwise, based on our readings of the markets, crop patterns, and production, it should support a RM2,200-RM2,400 price," Bakke said on Friday. He was speaking at a press conference after Sime Darby reported a 54.7% plunge in its third-quarter net profit partly due to depressed palm oil prices. Earnings for the current financial year are expected to come in at RM2-RM2.1 billion, short of a target of RM2.5 billion set earlier, Bakke said. Palm futures have shed more than 5% so far this year in the absence of a weather premium and due to bleak exports. Weak crude oil prices that make the tropical oil less attractive for blending into biofuels have also dragged on prices. - See more at:

TH Plantations sets RM500m revenue target  Alexander Winifred Thursday, May 21, 2015 TH Plantations (THP) Bhd, the plantation arm of Lembaga Tabung Haji, is aiming to achieve a revenue of more RM500 million this year, driven by production inccrase from maturing plantations and its entry into the international markets. THP CEO Datuk Zainal Azwar Zainal Aminuddin said the company expects a 5% increase in revenue for 2015 compared to RM489 million recorded in 2014. "More plantations are coming into maturity in the near future and it will ensure steady revenue growth in the coming years," he said this at the company’s AGM in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Zainal says THP will also begin exploring the sale of its produce from its plantations in Sarawak to markets like China, India, and the Middle East.  "As long as they can give us a good price," he said. Presently, THP only sells its produce to the local market.  The group had embarked on an aggressive expansion plan that saw its plantation land increased to 106,000 hectares from 15,000 hectares in 2006.  For the final quarter of 2014, the group reported a net loss of RM2 million, dragging its full year profits to RM34 million, a 46% year-on-year drop in profits.

Equatorial Palm Oil First-Half Loss Narrows As Ebola Hits Operations Mon, 18th May 2015 11:19 LONDON (Alliance News) - Equatorial Palm Oil PLC Monday said its pretax loss in the first half of the year was in line with expectations after the Ebola crisis had a significant impact on its operations but said it is still in a strong position to carry out its strategy. For the first half of the financial year ended March 31, the palm oil producer reported a pretax loss of USD439,000, which is narrower than the USD745,000 loss reported a year earlier as the company cut its administrative expenses to USD458,000 from USD628,000. Equatorial said the loss was "in line with expectations". Equatorial also made a smaller operating loss from its joint ventures of USD245,000 from USD323,000, whilst interest income rose to USD230,000 from USD206,000 and other income totalled USD34,000 from none a year earlier.The company does not yet generate any revenue and said the Ebola crisis had a "significant impact" on its operations in the period due to the restriction of movement in Liberia until March. The company noted that the country has now been declared Ebola-free.  ttp://

Praetorian Resources shares soar as it offloads stake in palm oil firm  By Andrew Neil May 15 2015, 1:50pm Praetorian shares were up over 100% in early afternoon deals and trading at 5.8p. Praetorian shares were up over 100% in early afternoon deals and trading at 5.8p.  Shares in Praetorian Resources (LON:PRAE) doubled in value as the firm sold its entire stake in Equatorial Palm Oil (LON:EPO).
The Guernsey-based investment company offloaded its full holding for £637,500 in cash, higher than EPO’s book value of £552,000. The palm oil producer, which has plants in Liberia on the West African cost, had been part of Praetorian’s portfolio since the vehicle listed on AIM back in 2012. Praetorian, which also holds stakes in ASX-listed Ausgold and TSX listed Maya Gold & Silver, said the funds raised will be used to provide additional working capital for the company.
Shares were up over 100% in early afternoon deals and trading at 5.8p.

Benso Oil Palm Plantation makes profit Business News of Monday, 18 May 2015  The Benso Oil Palm Plantation Limited made a profit after tax of 12.9 million Ghana cedis in 2014 representing 112 per cent increase over that of 2013.  Mr Ishmael Yamson, the Chairman of Board of Directors, announced this at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company at Takoradi.  He said a dividend of GH¢ 0.0706.00 per share was approved for 2012 compared to GH¢0.0334 for the previous year.  He said by the prudent operation of the management, the company had been declared the first certified sustainable oil palm plantation in Ghana and second in the whole of Africa by the Round Table Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an international organisation based in Malaysia.

22 May 2015: Palm oil machinery maker Dolphin to use IPO proceeds for factory expansion and working capital 

Dolphin to use IPO proceeds for factory expansion and working capital  20 May 2015 @ 7:02 PM
KUALA LUMPUR: Dolphin International Bhd, headed for listing on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia on June 9, will utilise more than 50 per cent of the RM31.28 million it expects to raise from its Initial Public Offering (IPO), for factory expansion and working capital. The rest will be for establishing a research and development facility and repay bank borrowings, said Group Managing Director Eric Low Teck Yin. He said the listing would place the company in a stronger position to tap into Malaysia and Indonesia’s huge palm oil milling machinery market.  There are over 439 mills in Malaysia and about 608 in Indonesia. Dolphin International is involved in the design, development, fabrication and sale of palm oil machinery. “We will concentrate on catering to the demand for process integration and automation solutions that enhance productivity, safety and efficiency, while improving our facilities in Shah Alam and Puchong as well as innovating new solutions for customers in both countries,” Low said.

Dolphin International IPO prospectus:

21 May 2015: Sarawakian timber and palm oil groups unhappy about frozen accounts

Sarawakian timber and palm oil groups unhappy about frozen accounts Updated: Saturday May 16, 2015 MYT 12:25:05 PM; KUCHING: Timber and oil palm industry lobby groups in Sarawak are unhappy that hundreds of bank accounts have been frozen under a probe on corruption and illegal logging.   In separate statements, the Sarawak Timber Association (STA) and Sarawak Oil Palm Plantation Owners Association (Soppoa) described the freezing of accounts under Ops Gergaji as extreme and disruptive.  STA chairman Pemanca Datuk Wong Kie Yik said that MACC's freezing of 519 bank account worth RM700mil was "too harsh".  He said Ops Gergaji, which began last Tuesday, had crippled daily operations of member companies, some of which not directly involved in the timber trade.  "This has put affected companies in dire situations of not being able to pay their contractors, sub-contractors, suppliers and their employees when the Gawai Dayak festival is just around the corner," Wong said in a statement.  He added that those companies would break the law by not meeting statutory requirements of paying Employees Provident Fund, Social Security and the Goods and Services Tax.  Wong reiterated the industry's support for anti illegal logging efforts but said the methods deployed had been unreasonable and without compassion.  The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's (MACC) has frozen more than 500 accounts involving nearly RM700mil and seized 1,785 logs worth RM1mil.  Ops Gergaji involved 400 officers and covered Miri, Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu, Bakun and Kapit. Fourteen people, who are directors and managers of sawmill and log ponds, had been called up to assist in investigations.  In the Soppoa statement, issued late Friday, it said members welcomed the move to fight illegal logging but "strongly oppose the freezing of bank accounts of other businesses not related to such activities".  It said that accounts of plantation companies, educational institutions, hospitality businesses and many other businesses across Sarawak had been frozen.......

18 May 2015: Will FGV be removed from the KLCI?

Note: Thanks to alert from Felda case study team member on the chatter about FGV being removed from the KLCI. If so, this could dampen ETF tracking and institutional portfolio investment interest in the stock. Many such investors have a focus on holding the largest market capitalization stocks and presence on the KLCI (the key equity index for the Malaysia stock exchange) is important.

FGV company youtube videos,
Below some news articles relating to these FGV issues:

FGV to review LLA terms Saturday, 28 February 2015 By: HANIM ADNAN FELDA Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) is believed to be in the midst of finding a solution to improve the terms of its land lease agreement (LLA) with the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) which has distorted the calculation of its profits, say sources. Under the LLA agreement signed in 2012, FGV has to pay Felda a fixed amount of RM250mil per year in cash for 20 years and a 15% share of operating profit from the sales of fresh fruit bunches derived from the estate land leased from Felda.
From a business perspective, sources says the LLA business model is working well at the FGV group’s operational level. However, the LLA factor in practice is distorting and complicates the fair value accounting treatment on FGV, which saw its profits pulled down in its recent financial year results. “Hence, FGV is trying to work out with Felda on how to make it easier for the LLA fair value change calculation to be done and better reflect on the operational profits based on measures taken by the FGV group since 2012,” adds the source.

FGV down on stock downgrade Thursday, 26 February 2015  By: S. PUSPADEVI PETALING JAYA: Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd’s (FGV) share price dropped by almost 13% after analysts downgraded the stock following the group’s disappointing quarter.  The stock closed 38 sen lower at RM2.56 yesterday, the steepest fall in the last 18 months. The counter saw 14.56 million shares being traded.  Some volatility in the shares is expected, as analysts have maintained their bleak outlook on the group’s performance, stating that the downstream segment remained a challenge.
CIMB Research attributed the weaker fourth-quarter earnings to lower plantation and downstream contributions.  It also downgraded the stock as it viewed the 34% share price rally over the past months as unjustified, given its poor quarterly results and potential removal from the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KL Composite Index due to its lower market capitalisation.

17 May 2015: Indofood trims capex plan, IOI Corp net loss and forex loss on US$ loans, First Resources and PT SAL, Bumitama Agri, CBPI, FGV sells non-core assets amidst leadership uncertainty, GAR-GVL palm oil mill, Wilmar profits and its Australia sugar tussle

Indofood plans lower capex of Rp 9t this year Grace D. Amianti, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Sat, May 09 2015, 10:54 AM; Publicly listed food and consumer goods giant Indofood Sukses Makmur (INDF) has reduced its capital expenditure (capex) plans amid lackluster domestic economic growth. Indofood expects to spend Rp 9 trillion (US$686 million) capex for business expansion this year, down from Rp 9.6 trillion last year, which was a 60 percent increase from 2013.“Capex is usually used for expansion of existing plants as well as constructing new ones. This year, we will use our capex for upgrading our existing factories through installing new machines and so on,” Indofood president director Anthony Salim said at a press conference after the company’s general shareholders meeting on Friday.Indonesia’s economy, over half of which is driven by consumer demand, grew 4.7 percent in the first quarter of this year, the weakest growth rate since 2009, and far from the government’s 5.7 percent target this year.Indofood finance director Thomas Tjhie said 30 percent of this year’s capex would be allocated to its largest subsidiary and business division, Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur (ICBP), which is among the world’s top instant noodle makers.Other business divisions, such as Bogasari and agribusiness, obtained a 26 percent portion each. The remaining 18 percent will be split evenly for its distribution and cultivation divisions, Thomas added - See more at:

IOI Corp's 3Q sees a net loss of RM188m on higher net forex loss By Yimie Yong /   | May 14, 2015 : 8:29 PM MYT     KUALA LUMPUR (May 14): IOI Corp Bhd ( Financial Dashboard) posted a net loss of RM188 million in the third quarter ended March 31, 2015 (3QFY15) from a net profit of RM2.18 billion a year ago, mainly due to higher net foreign currency translation loss. This translated into a loss per share of 2.95 sen, compared to an earnings per share (EPS) of 34.2 sen. Revenue declined 4.25% to RM2.78 billion, from RM2.9 billion a year earlier. In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, IOI Corp (fundamental: 1.7; valuation: 2.1) said the group’s lower profit was also due to lower contribution from both plantation and resource-based manufacturing segments. Lower earnings from plantation business was due to lower fresh fruit bunches production and lower crude palm oil (CPO) price, while lower profit from resource-based manufacturing business was due to lower margin and sales volume. IOI Corp also explained that during the quarter under review, there was a net repayment of US$526 million (approximately RM1.88 billion) on its US dollar denominated borrowings. “As a result, the impact of the dollar-ringgit volatility on our US dollar denominated borrowings will be lower in the future,” it added.

First Resources' Q1 profit falls 38.5%, hit by lower palm-oil prices By Anita Gabriel  May 11, 20158:33 AM FIRST Resources on Monday reported a 38.5 per cent drop in net profit to US$27.7 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015, from US$45 million in the year-ago period, as profit from operations declined 24 per cent due to lower average selling prices and sales volumes of palm-based products. Revenue fell 46 per cent to US$96.3 million from US$178 million. Cost of sales slipped 63 per cent to US$38 million mainly due to lower sales volumes, decrease in purchases of fresh fruit bunches and palm-oil products from third parties, as well as lower processing costs
Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) saw a 21 per cent decline to US$53.4 million, while Ebitda margin improved to 55.5 per cent from 37.9 per cent a year ago, which was partly contributed by lower purchases from third parties.

Weak moratorium endangers peatlands in Riau Adisti Sukma Sawitri, The Jakarta Post, Indragiri Hilir/Jakarta | National | Tue, May 12 2015, 6:20 AM; Thousands of hectares of peatland in Indragiri Hilir regency, Riau, are under threat by the advance of palm oil company PT Setia Agrindo Lestari (PT SAL), which has begun to clear the area to make way for new plantations.An indirect subsidiary of palm oil giant First Resources Limited, PT SAL obtained a location permit for the 17,059-hectare property, spread over five villages in Gaung district, from the Indragiri Hilir administration in 2012, a year after former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono issued a presidential instruction (Inpres) banning the issuance of new permits to clear primary forests or peatlands. The forest moratorium, which was extended in 2013, mandates the protection of primary forests and peatlands. When Perspektif Baru Foundation and Kemitraan invited journalists from media companies, including The Jakarta Post, to visit a part of the PT SAL concession in Pungkat village last Wednesday, a new trench was opened by the company workers. The trench passes through the cleared area, which is the size of several soccer fields. By siphoning vegetation felled by the land clearing toward the village, the trenches have caused water supplies have become polluted, locals say. “The water has been murky for the past few days. We are lucky this is the rainy season, so we can still gather rainwater. I can’t imagine how we will survive during the dry season,” said Masniar, a Pungkat resident.The village has depended on water from the peatland areas during the dry season since 1974....In its 2014 financial report, First Resources Limited, which is publicly listed in Singapore, stated it held a 46.7 percent stake in PT SAL.Riko Kurniawan from the Riau chapter of the NGO Indonesian Forum fot the Environment (Walhi) said many palm oil companies still disregarded the forest moratorium, since it carried no punishment for violators. - See more at:

Bumitama Agri Q1 profits fall 41% to 181.6 billion rupiah Published on May 12, 2015 11:42 AM SINGAPORE - Palm-oil producer Bumitama Agri announced on Tuesday that net profit for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015, fell 41 per cent to 181.57 billion rupiah (S$18.44 million) from 307.84 billion rupiah for the year-ago period. The mainboard-listed company blamed lower selling prices for both crude palm oil and palm kernel, the higher cost of sales, foreign-exchange loss and share of loss of associate companies. Revenue for the quarter dipped 1.7 per cent to 1.33 trillion rupiah as the lower selling prices offset the increase in sales volume of both products. - See more at:

CB Industrial awarded more than RM250m worth of contracts this year By AmResearch / The Edge Financial Daily   | May 7, 2015 : 10:42 AM MYT

Felda Global Ventures to sell non-core ventures by third quarter Thursday, 7 May 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) will complete the disposal of its non-core businesses by the third quarter of 2015, said group president and chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah. The disposal, which includes Felda Travel, Felda Property and Felda Prodata Systems, will be carried out through open tender process.

Renewal of Felda Global Venture CEO contract remains unclear Published: 6 May 2015 7:58 PM Felda Global Ventures Bhd’s (FGV) CEO Datuk Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah's answer was vague when asked whether his employment contract, which will end in July, will be renewed. “It is in the process,” Emir Mavani said cryptically when asked if he would continue to helm the plantation group, whose share price has come under heavy pressure as a result of the poor earnings performance. He was speaking to reporters after FGV's signing ceremony to establish the Rafflesia Centre for Research and Interpretation and Sun Bear Conservation Centre today. - See more at:

GVL oil palm mill coming soon  Published: Friday, 08 May 2015 00:22; Golden Veroleum Liberia signed a Letter of Acceptance with Malaysia-based Modipalm Engineering Sdn Bhd for the construction of its Tarjuowon Palm Oil Mill and Greenville Bulking Station.   A press release issued by GVL says the contract, worth upwards of 21 million USD, is expected to be completed by 2017 and will employ several hundred Liberians during construction and  pproximately 150 Liberians in industrial processing when in full operation. Currently, GVL employs approximately 3,700 in the South East of the country. “What we want to do is continue that number upward as we grow with the help of the communities,” said GVL Spokesman Stephen Binda. “The mill and bulking station will certainly help with that and ensure Liberia will have its own processing capabilities, which in essence means that there are products made in Liberia by Liberians.” When completed the mill will be used to process fresh fruit bunches, also known as FFB, typically within 24 hours of harvesting.  Then the oil would be transported to the bulking station. “This is a process that began for us a couple of years ago when we sent our first batch of Liberian engineers to Jakarta, Indonesia to train specifically in oil palm mill engineering. They returned and are now helping to run the company, and they will have an enormous task ahead of them with the mill. But they have stepped up to the challenge and we expect great things from them,” according to Binda. Of the current GVL workforce, 64 Liberians are in various management positions, the mill and bulking station will increase that number. When fully operational, the company expects to employ between 35,000 and 40,000, the release concluded.

UPDATE 2-Wilmar Q1 profit jumps on grains, oilseeds performance * Q1 net rises 49 pct to $241.2 million * Revenue falls 8.3 pct on lower commodity prices * Expects crushing margin to be positive into mid-2015 (Adds details on sugar business in paragraphs 1, 7,8) SINGAPORE, May 7 (Reuters) - Singapore-based Wilmar International Ltd on Thursday said net profit jumped 49 percent in the first quarter as strong earnings at its oilseeds and grains business offset losses in other segments, including the company's sugar segment. The world's largest palm oil processor and one of the biggest buyers of soybeans reported profit of $241.2 million for January-March. That was on revenue which fell 8.3 percent to $9.4 billion due to a decline in commodity prices. Pre-tax profit from the oilseeds and grains division grew to $166.1 million from $13.6 million a year earlier, driven by higher crushing margins and improved performance in its consumer product business. Wilmar said crushing margins in China CNSOY-RZO-MRG rose due to a decline in soybean imports and prices. "Crush margins are expected to remain positive going into mid-2015," Wilmar said in a statement. High earnings contributions from associates in India and China also boosted profit, Wilmar said. That helped offset a pre-tax loss in Wilmar's sugar segment of $68 million in the first quarter, more than a quarter higher than the prior year's loss of $54 million, due to weaker performances in the company's Indonesian refineries and merchandising business.

Big Sugar Order Gives Prices a Jolt; More Than a Dozen Ships Are Lined Up in Brazil to Fulfill the Order; By  Carolyn Cui and  Julie Wernau  May 8, 2015 6:53 p.m. ET; One company’s purchase of an unusually large amount of sugar is sending the market scrambling. Wilmar International Ltd. bought 1.9 million tons of sugar on the ICE Futures U.S. Exchange and called on sellers to ship the order—the largest exchange delivery...

Wilmar believes fair competition in sugar is "premature" Emily Smith | 5th May 2015 6:00 AM
DRAFTING legislation to ensure fair competition in sugar marketing is "premature and unnecessary", according to sugar industry giant Wilmar.  The company responded yesterday to plans of a private member's bill the state Opposition wants to bring to parliament, designed to add pro-competition amendments to the Sugar Industry Act 1999. If it makes it through parliament, it would protect farmers from "no choice" marketing plans Wilmar proposed, after they break away from independent sugar marketer Queensland Sugar Limited in 2017.  But Wilmar's executive general manager strategy and business development, Shayne Rutherford, said the proposed changes already would take growers into consideration.  "Wilmar is disappointed the LNP is discussing a private member's bill without having met with us to understand the marketing model we are proposing or the status of negotiations," he said Wilmar believes fair competition in sugar is "premature"

LETTER TO THE ED: Choice is the key issue for cane farmers Kerry Latter, CEO Canegrowers Mackay | 6th May 2015 8:20 AM  WILMAR continues to fight against any opportunity to provide growers with a choice model in sugar marketing, commercial or legislative (DM 05/05/15).
Given the monopsony position of Wilmar's sugar mills, the key remedy to the issue is to provide cane growers with economic bargaining power and real choice.  This may be achieved by the twin means of explicitly and permanently granting all Queensland growers:  1. Beneficial economic interest in their share of raw sugar created from their cane under the current supply contract formulae;
2. The right to choose how and with whom that share of the raw sugar is marketed.  The key issue is choice. Queensland cane growers should be able to choose who markets their sugar. Whether that is the industry owned not for profit company, Queensland Sugar Limited, Wilmar or some other entity, it should be their choice.  The State Government needs to comprehend this and the impacts on Queensland families across the state, providing a simple change to the existing Queensland Sugar Act 1999 is not hard to do....

1 May 2015: Indofood sales, Angro-Eastern warns, second mill for Month Reththy Cambodia, Peter Lim (former Wilmar deal maker and owner) sets up for EU deal making

Indofood books sales of S$1.5 billionThe Jakarta Post/Asia News NetworkFriday, May 01, 2015 ;

Indofood books sales of Rp 15.02t The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Thu, April 30 2015, 7:57 PM; Leading food manufacturer PT Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk (INDF) booked net sales of Rp 15.02 trillion (US$1.15 billion) in the first quarter of 2015, down by 0.1 percent compared to the same period last year.INDF president director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Anthoni Salim said Indofood CBP, which manufactures consumer branded goods, contributed 52 percent to sales, followed by Bogasari (25 percent), Agribusiness (15 percent) and Distribution (8 percent).INDF’s overall profits were down by 37.2 percent to Rp 870.1 billion.Meanwhile, the net profit margin declined to 5.8 percent from 9.2 percent, due largely to exchange rate losses as a result of the depreciation of the rupiah.Anthoni said by not calculating non-recurring accounts and exchange rate margins, INDF’s core profit which reflected its operational work performance grew by 11.6 percent to Rp 1.05 trillion from Rp 939.9 billion.“Entering 2015, the domestic economic situation is not yet conducive. In the midst of challenging market conditions and the depreciating rupiah, INDF’s operational work performance remains strong as reflected in its core profit,” said Anthoni. (ebf) - See more at:

Indonesia's Indofood Sukses net profit falls 37 pct in Q1 Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:20pm EDT  JAKARTA, April 30  (Reuters) - Indonesia's PT Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk, one of the world's largest instant noodle makers, reported on Thursday a 37 percent plunge in first-quarter net profit.

Anglo-Eastern Posts Profit Drop, Warns Of Challenges In Palm Oil Thu, 30th Apr 2015 13:14
LONDON (Alliance News) - Anglo-Eastern Plantations PLC Thursday reported a big drop in profit in 2014 despite an increase in revenue, due to a biological asset value adjustment, and warned of a challenging future as crude palm oil prices remain under pressure due to lower prices for alternatives like crude oil and soya and sunflower oil and because input costs are rising. The palm oil and rubber producer reported a 67% drop in pretax profit to USD51.2 million, from USD153.4 million in 2013, despite a 24% rise in revenue to USD251.3 million from USD201.9 million on the back of higher production of fresh fruit bunches. The profit drop was caused by a biological asset adjustment of USD33.7 million, compared with a credit of USD93.7 million in 2013, mainly due to the weakening of the Rupiah against the US dollar. Excluding this adjustment, its profit rose to USD85.0 million, from USD59.7 million....the company said the mill construction in Central Kalimantan is progressing on schedule and said it is expected to be operational in the second quarter of 2015, while the USD5 million construction of the biogas and biomass plant in North Sumatera is now complete and has begun operations ........"The group expects to face tougher challenges with steeper rise in operating costs in 2015 due to rising fertiliser prices, higher wage inflation and removal of government fuel subsidies in Indonesia," the chairman added.

Cambodian PM inaugurates 2nd palm oil plant; PHNOM PENH, April 29 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday inaugurated a 20 million U.S. dollars palm oil factory in southwest Cambodia's Preah Sihanouk province. It was the kingdom's second palm oil plant that was jointly invested by Cambodia's Mong Reththy Group and Thai Charoen Corporation Group. Hun Sen said the factory was a new achievement in the development of agro-industrial sector. "The launching of the factory will contribute to developing the economy and reducing poverty through job creation in rural areas," he said. Mong Reththy, president of the Mong Reththy Group, said the new plant is capable to process 45 tons of fresh oil palm fruit per hour, while the old factory, launched since 2002, is able to process only 30 tons per hour.

Billionaire Valencia Boss Taps LVMH Dealmaker for Europe Push 'By'Joyce Koh 12:00 AM HKT   April 30, 2015; Lim, a 61-year-old former stockbroker, made his fortune through holdings in palm oil producers and a chain of Manchester United cafes in Asia. He also has stakes in supercar maker McLaren Automotive Ltd., Singapore property developer Rowsley Ltd. and security provider Soverus Group Pte.....

26 April 2015: Sime Darby Bumiputera vendor devt programme, Wilmar US$1 billion complex at Maloy East Kalimantan, Cargill seeks poultry play, more palm oil mills in Indonesia; GAR's US$1.5 billion multicurrency medium term note programme; PZ Wilmar Nigeria refinery capacity 300,000 tons/year and 50m000 ha of oil palm soon;  Presco's Investment in Nigeria over US$1bn

Sime Darby launches Bumiputera vendor devt programme Wednesday, 22 April 2015 By: ZUNAIRA SAIEED; KUALA LUMPUR: Sime Darby Bhd has launched the Bumiputera vendor development programme to help specific Bumiputera companies develop their capabilities to become more competitive in the local and global markets. Sime Darby said on Wednesday it had identified nine companies that have signed the MoUs with Sime Darby Plantation and Sime Darby Property, reflecting a spread of Bumiputera vendors in both divisions. “In support of Malaysia’s national agenda, the group is determined to increase our pool of approved Bumiputera vendors in the approved vendor list to 30%,” said Sime Darby president and group chief executive Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh...... The selected vendors would be given opportunity to supply goods and services to needs of Sime Darby for a period of three to five years. “Sime Darby will also assist the vendor to obtain financial and training assistance from government agencies, financial institutions or any other certified technical agencies,” Sime Darby added. If the selected vendors KPIs are met after graduating from the programme, the vendors would be recognised as “Sime Darby Preferred Vendor’, which would likely increase their opportunity to be involved in future projects..... For its financial year ended June 30, 2014, the group’s saving from procurement activities stood at RM60mil....
Wilmar to Build $1b Integrated CPO Factory in E. Kalimantan By Amrozi Amenan on 11:34 am Apr 20, 2015; Gresik, East Java. The biggest crude palm oil processing company in the world, Wilmar Nabati Indonesia — the local unit of Wilmar International — plans to build a $1 billion integrated factory in the Maloy industrial area in East Kalimantan to produce more processed CPO products. The company is currently negotiating on land for the factory with the East Kalimantan government, Wilmar Nabati Indonesia president director Hendri Sakti said last week. “Once we get the land, we will start building the factory. It will be similar to our factory in Gresik,” Hendri said...... Wilmar Nabati Indonesia has a 100-hectare CPO processing factory in Gresik that produces processed CPO products such as oleo-food, oleo-chemical, bio-fuel, bio-lefin and bio-avtur......

Cargill Seeking Poultry Play, Building Palm Oil Mills In Indonesia - Minnesota-based company is also considering entering aquaculture for the first time By Ben Otto  April 20, 2015 8:30 a.m. ET
JAKARTA, Indonesia—Cargill Inc. is seeking to enter the Indonesian poultry sector and is investing in mills for its growing palm oil business there, part of its plans to pour $1 billion into Southeast Asia’s largest economy in the coming years...... The Minnesota-based company is “in active discussions” to enter the poultry sector in Indonesia, which will include building a new facility and likely partnering, Alan Willits, Cargill...

Golden Agri's S$125m three-year notes priced at 5.5% a year By Cai; 22 Apr7:52 AM; PALM oil plantation company Golden Agri-Resources said on Wednesday that it has priced its S$125 million senior unsecured fixed rate notes due April 27, 2018, at 5.5 per cent a year. The company is getting funding from a US$1.5 billion multicurrency medium term note programme. The latest offering is managed by Credit Suisse, MUFJ, and OCBC Bank......  Golden Agri said net proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes and working capital needs, including but not limited to the repayment of outstanding borrowings......

Banks raising $400m for palm oil expansion 'must examine high risks' by Oliver Tickell 20th April 2015; Banks preparing to launch a $400m bond issue for a global palm oil giant with a history of legal violations and broken standards have been warned of their 'high risk client' and the 'extreme and outstanding' social and environmental conflicts in the palm oil agribusiness sector. "Banks and investors must examine the full range of environmental, social, reputational, legal and market risks prevalent in the palm oil sector", warns a new alert from the Banktrack Network. They should also "ensure that they undertake enhanced, robust due diligence procedures to identify, understand and screen these risks prior to any financing", the group insists......  The warning was issued as a syndicate of three global financial institutions - Credit Suisse, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation and Mitsubishi UFJ Securities - prepare to issue $400 million in bonds for palm oil expansion.
The syndicate is acting for Singapore-registered Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) - one of the world's largest palm oil companies and a part of the Sinar Mas Group - according to a Debtwire report last week. And it's beginning meetings this week with credit investors this week in Hong Kong and Singapore......

Nigeria's path to revamping oil palm sector by Femi Adekoya on April 22, 2015

PZ Wilmar Nigeria refinery capacity 300,000 tons/year and 50m000 ha of oil palm soon  - Backward integration ‘ll cut palm oil import by $300m April 22, 2015 Written by Chikodi Okereocha; On-going backward integration plan for palm oil embarked upon by PZ Wilmar Nigeria Limited, a palm oil processing, packaging and distribution company, will help Nigeria save foreign exchange by eliminating imports to the value of $300 million per year now being spent on palm oil import, its Managing Director, Mr. Santosh Pillai, has said. The backward integration programme, which aims at making the country self-sufficient in oil palm production would also create about 9, 000 direct and 45, 000 indirect jobs,......He said: “With refinery capacity of over 300, 000 tons per year, it will reduce Nigeria’s estimated 500, 000 ton annual supply shortage by 60 per cent.”..... According to Pillai, Nigeria’s total market for palm oil is estimated at two million tons, and local output meets about 75 per cent of total. He said to close the supply gap of crude palm oil in the country, the company is working to increase the availability of locally sourced products, as well as introducing modern plantation management. He said the company has acquired 26, 500 hectares of land in Cross River State for oil palm plantation, adding that the target is to acquire 50, 000 hectares soon...... The 26,500-hectare project is part of an integrated end-to-end value chain in oil palm production and processing. The project, according to Pillai, is the result of a joint venture between PZ Cussons and Wilmar of Singapore to explore the opportunities in the agro-allied industry and in the process deliver benefits to the Nigerian economy......

Presco's Investment in Nigeria ?Hits $1bn 21 Apr 2015; The investment injected into the Nigeria economy by Presco Oil Palm plc in the past one decade has risen beyond $1 billion, THISDAY has learnt...... With the company bringing in a minimum of $100 million investment into the country annually for the past ten years, the companies total investment in the country has risen over a billion dollars during the period. Chairman of the company, Mr. Pierre Vandebeeck, explained that the investments  included procuring high quality state-of-the-art ‎equipments, automated steam turbines and a biogas plant  for power generation, oil palm processing mills, refineries  and plants and machineries.....  Vandebeeck in an interview with THISDAY, said the company is going forward by building a new refinery and oil mill that would gulp another $30 million to boost oil palm production in Nigeria. In his words: "I have not done the feasibility study yet but the cost estimate for the oil mill  is about $20 million and the refinery is $10 million summing up to a $30 million investment. A hectare of new plantation is about $6000 so multiply that to know how much we are investing every year. We are not stopping. We are like a vehicle driving very fast  all the time, although I do say should we  slow down a bit but there are so many opportunities that come up that we do not want to miss and therefore you are more or less pushed to continue investing. ‎"........"We are the only company in this industry in the world that has succeeded  in cloning rubber trees. We started two years ago and will be planting our first cloned rubber trees in Ivory Coast and Ghana because we believe through this system we will be increasing the rubber yields by about 30 per cent per hectares by 2 tonnes to 3 tonnes, but I believe it will be more‎," he said..... ‎He noted that for the past  ten years, Presco has being investing in what he described as a genetic block of oil palm having over 200 different crosses ‎and varieties from all over the world, saying that the company will propagate and make it available to anyone willing to pay the price. "We have the first result for this and five years after planting, we added 20,000,000 per hectares with an extraction rate of 29 per cent and this means we are doubling the oil yields per hectare of what is coming now.‎ We are doing the same thing ‎for cocoa because personally I believe in three crops which are  rubbber, oil palm and cocoa. We are going to produce high performing clones that are disease resistant, he said......

Asian and African business leaders form business council to boost trade, prosperity Published on Apr 21, 2015 6:45 PM; JAKARTA - INSTANT noodle producer Indofood plans to build a factory in Morocco, its sixth in Africa, this year. It is one of a growing number of Asian companies investing in the continent of late. More natural resources from Africa, such as crude oil from Angola, are also flowing to Asia. But trade between both regions remains well below its potential, and business leaders on both sides today agreed to form an Asian-African Business Council (AABC) to step up links, share know-how and boost investments.....

22 April 2015: Sabah biorefinery complex at Lahad Datu, Astra Agro capex plans US$230 million for 2015 - more mills, plans for PK crushing, government cattle farming integration plan

Sabah soon to have world’s first palm oil based biorefinery complex  by ruben sario Updated: Wednesday April 22, 2015 MYT 6:39:05 AM; KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia is set to become a key producer of sustainably produced raw materials for the manufacture of detergents, lubricants and plastics once the world’s first palm oil based bio refinery complex is operational in the east coast of Lahad Datu district. Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin said the bio refinery complex would be producing speciality chemicals such as olefins, saturated methyl ester and methyl ester sulphonate. He said the RM2bil metathesis biorefinery plant at the Palm Oil Industrial Cluster in Lahad Datu was a joint venture between US-based Elevance Renewable Sciences Inc and Genting Plantations Bhd. “The plant is expected to be operational in about two years and will propel Malaysia as a key producer of sustainably produced specialty chemicals,” Ewon said after the launching of the BioBorneo conference and exhibition here on Monday. ...Ewon said bio-refinery complex was one of the 13 key projects nationwide under the bio-economy transformation programme, of which three were located in Sabah. He said the other two projects in the state utilised oil palm waste for the manufacture of compressed natural gas and organic fertiliser. Ewon said the Felda Palm Industries would be equipping its Hamparan Badai, Kembara Sakti and Nilam Permata palm oil mills to convert raw biogas from the effluent into compressed industrial grade natural gas. “Each of these facilities would have the capacity to produce 900 cubic metres per hour of this compressed natural gas,” he added. Ewon said the palm oil waste was also be used to produce organic fertiliser with local firm Green Plant Organic Fertilizer Sdn Bhd constructing plant on a build-operate-transfer basis for Sawit Kinabalu in Sabah.........

Astra Agro to venture into cattle farming Tassia Sipahutar, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Wed, April 15 2015, 8:41 AM; Major plantation company PT Astra Agro Lestari (AALI), part of diversified conglomerate PT Astra International (ASII), is set to venture into cattle farming in an effort to diversify its business, according to its top boss.Astra Agro president director Widya Wiryawan said on Tuesday that the publicly listed company — whose major commodity is crude palm oil (CPO) — was assessing in more detail the possibility of entering the cattle-breeding business.“It may go hand-in-hand with our existing palm oil plantation, creating a business synergy. We have many flat plantation sites that may suit the cattle’s needs,” he said in a press conference after the company’s annual general shareholders’ meeting. At present, Astra Agro’s plantation sites are scattered across the country, but most of them are located in Kalimantan and Sulawesi. In addition to palm oil, the company also has a rubber plantation in Banten.Widya acknowledged that cattle farming would provide a new business opportunity for the company, citing the government’s ambition to achieve national beef self-sufficiency. “But we will need more clarity from the government on the program before we move on to more concrete action,” he said...... According to Widya, Astra Agro has the potential to produce further CPO derivatives. “We have not really done anything with our palm oil kernels. The end product may be in the form of an oil that resembles coconut oil, but further study is needed,” he said. Astra Agro finance director Rudy said that his firm had allocated around Rp 3 trillion (US$231.14 million) to finance its expenditure this year.“About one third of the figure will be used for various plantation purposes, one third to upgrade existing plants or build new ones and the rest to improve infrastructure in areas around our plantations sites,” he explained. - See more at:
Astra Agro to Spend $24m for Two Palm Oil Plants By Antonia Timmerman on 01:07 pm Apr 15, 2015; Jakarta. Astra Argo Lestari, the palm oil unit of Astra International, is setting aside $20 million to $24 million for the construction of two palm plants in South Kalimantan and Central Sulawesi this year. “We are indeed trying to expand in many regions that so far have not yet been touched,” said Astra Argo director Joko Supriyono on Tuesday. The plants will be completed in October 2016 with production capacity of 45 metric tons per hour for each plant. Astra Argo will have 31 palm plants next year from 29 units this year. Astra Argo finance director Rudy said the company will finance the construction from its capital expenditure. In 2015, the company allocated Rp 3 trillion ($230 million) to Rp 3.5 trillion for capital spending.....

19 April 2015:  Fitch affirm ratings of GAR units, KLK raises RM1.6 billion multi-currency sukuk, Asahi Indofood's new beverage plant, Indofood and Tunas Baru new sugar mills, GAR guidance on output, FGV graphene venture, Queensland growers commercial fight with millers

Malaysia's KLK to raise up to 1.6 bln ringgit from multi-currency sukuk, KUALA LUMPUR, April 13; (Reuters) - Malaysian plantation company Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK) Bhd will raise up to 1.6 billion ringgit ($431.9 million) from Islamic bonds, rating agency RAM Ratings said on Monday.
 The multi-currency sukuk programme expires in 2027 and was rated AA1 or stable by RAM Ratings in a statement....

Fitch Affirms 3 Indonesian Palm Oil Producers; Outlook Stable (The following statement was released by the rating agency) JAKARTA/SYDNEY, April 14 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings has affirmed the National Long-Term Ratings of Indonesia-based palm oil producers PT Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology Tbk (SMART), PT Ivo Mas Tunggal (IMT) and PT Sawit Mas Sejahtera (SMS) at 'AA(idn)', with Stable Outlooks. SMART, IMT and SMS are wholly owned by Golden Agri Resources, Ltd (GAR). At the same time the agency has affirmed SMART's IDR1trn bonds due in 2017 and 2019 at 'AA(idn)'. 'AA' National Ratings denote expectations of very low default risk relative to other issuers or obligations in the same country... KEY RATINGS DRIVERS Delayed Deleveraging: Fitch now expects GAR to begin deleveraging about a year later than previously forecast, because of low CPO prices, thinner downstream margins and disappointing performance of its China operations. The affirmation of the ratings on the three GAR subsidiaries is driven by Fitch's expectation that GAR's consolidated profile will improve, with FFO-adjusted leverage falling to around 4x by end-2016. This is in line with management's expectation that losses at GAR's Chinese operation in 2014 are non-recurring, the global CPO price will rebound in 2016, and higher refining capacity utilisation will improve overall downstream margins....
Asahi Indofood opens new beverage plant, The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network Friday, Apr 10, 2015

UPDATE 1-Indofood Agri plans new Indonesian sugar mill to feed local demand Tue Apr 7, 2015 3:39am EDT By Eveline Danubrata and Cindy Silviana
* New mill may cost at least $150 mln -Indofood Agri CEO
* Indonesia is short of around 3 mln tonnes of sugar
* Tunas Baru to invest $100 mln in new sugar factory (Adds comment from CEO, government data, background)

Golden Agri sees 2015 palm output at lower end of expectations April 04, 2015  RECORDER REPORT; Golden Agri-Resources Ltd expects its palm and palm kernel oil production to rise around 5 percent this year, coming in at the lower end of a projected annual growth rate as dry weather hurts yields, a senior company executive said.... A smaller rise in output from the world's second-largest oil palm planter by acreage could underpin palm prices, which fell almost 15 percent in 2014 as high rival oilseed supplies and sliding crude oil prices dented demand for the tropical oil from the food and energy sectors..... Based on normal weather conditions, Golden Agri could expect a 5-10 percent rise in output, but this year "because of the weather concerns we are expecting to hit the lower end of that number", the firm's chief financial officer, Rafael Concepcion, told Reuters on Tuesday.....

Malaysia poised to become Asia’s largest producer of graphene Friday April 10, 2015; KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — Malaysia is poised to become the largest producer of graphene materials in Asia once Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) sets up a graphene plant in the country within two years. FGV Executive Vice-President of Palm Downstream Cluster Datuk Zakaria Arshad said the RM15 million plant was expected to have a production capacity of nine kilogrammes of graphene per day. “The location of the plant has not been specifically identified, but it is expected to be located at one of FGV’s mills,” he told reporters at the Malaysian Investment Development Authority seminar on Graphene here today. Graphene is a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon that combines extreme mechanical strength, exceptional electronic and thermal conductivities, impermeability to gases as well as many other properties that make it highly attractive for a broad range of applications. This downstream production of graphene material would be used in the development of products in various industries encompassing aerospace, telecommunications, rubber, palm oil, electronics, oil and gas and solar, he said. Giving an example for graphene use in palm oil, Zakaria said this innovative development enables methane and other by-products from crude palm oil to be used as raw input at very low costs, while producing high quality materials. Last year, FGV, in a joint venture effort with Cambridge Nanosystems, built a carbon nanotubes and graphene plant in the United Kingdom that produces between 50 and 100 tonnes of products a year to cater the European market. - See more at:

Settlers lost RM177 million from Felda Global, says Pua BY ANISAH SHUKRY Published: 8 April 2015 1:39 PM ,,,The 94,125 settlers who still have shares in Felda Global Ventures Holdings (FGVH) have lost a total estimated RM177 million, DAP MP Tony Pua said today, citing the market closing price of RM2.09 per share yesterday. He said the government revealed yesterday that 99.9% of the 94,219 settlers who bought their allocated 800 shares in FGVH at RM4.45 in 2012 still held on to their shares. “Unfortunately, these settlers who held on to their shares would have lost an estimated total of RM177 million based on yesterday’s market closing price of only RM2.09 per share..... “This is the result of a 53% drop in the share price over the past two years,” Pua told a press conference at the Parliament lobby. - See more at:

Blockade at Wilmar mill could erupt into full-blown strike by Andi Fachrizal  April 03, 2015
Local people blocked the road to a Wilmar palm oil mill in Sungai Malaya, a village in Indonesia’s West Kalimantan province, demanding the release of nine day laborers who were arrested during an earlier protest over delayed wages.... As of April 1, the company’s operations were paralyzed, with trucks carrying fresh fruit bunches from nearby plantations unable to deliver their cargo. School buses and other vehicles were allowed to pass unimpeded..... The protesters threatened that if the company, a Wilmar subsidiary named Bumi Pratama Khatulistiwa, did not meet their demands by April 4, all workers would go on strike..... According to Maulana, a youth leader from Sungai Malaya, Kubu Raya regency, the case began in January when day laborers who were fed up with Bumi Pratama’s consistent failure to pay them on time rallied in front of the company’s office.....

Sugar price slump canes Queensland growers Apr 10 2015| THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW| A drop in the sugar price is causing huge woe for growers. But the problems don't end there: a fight has broken out them and millers over the end of a century-old monopoly marketing arrangement.....

Wilmar warns of potential Australian sugar production shortfall Wed Apr 8, 2015 2:26am GMT By Colin Packham; SYDNEY, April 8 (Reuters) - Australia's sugar production during the 2014/15 season may miss official estimates as a result of recent dry weather across the northeast coast of the world's third-largest raw sugar exporter, Wilmar International Ltd said on Wednesday. Much of Queensland, which accounts for more than 95 percent of the Australian sugar cane production, received less than half the typical levels of rain between January and March, Wilmar said. Australian sugar production relies on rains during the first few months of the year when rainfall is at its heaviest.
Less Australian output would support global sugar prices, which fell to more than six-year lows in March on ample supplies....

6 April 2015: Indomie Morocco, Delta Wilmar CIS, FGV replanting, Fitch negative outlook on Sime Darby rating, Genting refinery, XingHe Selangor plant, Equatorial Palm Oil awaits HCS study, Liberia tax records warning

Indomie to build factory in Morocco | The Jakarta Post - Ukraine: Delta Wilmar CIS to increase the margarines export to Poland

FGV focus on replanting to ride out CPO price slump - The Rakyat Post

Fitch revises Outlook on Sime Darby issuer ratings to Negative - Business News | The Star Online

tcetoday | News | Genting plans 600 t/y palm oil refinery

XingHe to set up first plant out of China in Selangor | theSundaily

Equatorial Palm Oil holds back on development pending HCS study - Yahoo Finance UK

Liberia transparency body warns resource companies over tax records

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