FINALLY, SHAHRIR ADMITS FELDA HAS CASH-FLOW PROBLEM: ‘ASSET SALES TO STABILISE CASH FLOW’

The Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) is selling some of its “matured assets” to stabilise cash flow, said its chairperson Shahrir Samad.

“Most important is to stabilise our cash flow for Felda.

“That is why last year the decision was made to sell or liquefy some of the investments in our portfolio,” Shahrir said, in an interview on the morning segment of radio station BFM.

He pointed to the sale of part of Felda’s shares in Maybank and its intention to sell off the hotel it owns in Bayswater, London, as part of the plan.

Felda sold the Maybank shares, he said, to take care of last year’s cash flow.

“I think the hotel in Bayswater has matured in the sense that the value is up and we bought it when the pound (value) was quite low, less than five and now it is more than five,” he said.

Shahrir also spoke about the Eagle High Plantations investment, which had been highly criticised.

He said the investment would not affect the settlers or the running of Felda itself.

He explained that the settlers’ income from their smallholdings goes directly to them and the money Felda raises to fund the various activities for the settlers has nothing to do with the Eagle High investment.

“It (the investment) does not utilise any of the funds that we utilise for the business and for running Felda itself,” he said.

Insisting that the Eagle High investment has nothing to do with the Felda restructuring, he reiterated that it is a government investment.
“It is a government investment, it is only parked with us…. we are the experts on palm oil,” Shahrir said.

On reports that Felda is in an untenable position, he quipped that it has come back from worse.

Felda sold some of its shares in Maybank in January, to the tune of RM280 million.

Shahrir has also said previously that the sale of the London hotel would be finalised soon.

– M’kini

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