FELDA Global Ventures Holdings (FGV) bought Grand Plaza Serviced Apartments in London with money from FGV’s public listing in 2012, said Felda chairman Shahrir Abdul Samad, refuting PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli’s claim that the purchase was funded by a loan from the Employees Provident Fund.
The RM6.5 billion EPF loan that was approved in 2009 was used to fund settlers’ replanting programmes, said Shahrir. It was also used for FGV’s investments when the company was still under Felda
Shahrir also said Felda had received 54 offers for the London property, and he was positive a sale would benefit the government agency.
Felda chairman said the agency was weighing the offers and pick the best and most reasonable one.
“I am confident that the sale of the hotel is in line with Felda’s aim to return to its roots and that it will have a positive impact on Felda’s finances,” Shahrir said in a statement today.
“It will also help Felda to focus on managing the settlers’ holdings to ensure high incomes for them.”
Shahrir was responding to opposition lawmaker Rafizi Ramli, who on Tuesday claimed that Felda stood to lose RM38 million from the sale of the London property. Rafizi also said his research showed that there were no buyers.
The RM538 million purchase in 2013 did not fit Felda’s business portfolio and its sale now would also incur a loss, Rafizi had said.
Shahrir today also refuted Rafizi’s claim that there was an RM80 million administrative expense for the property that was unaccounted for.
The sum Rafizi referred to was payment for the property’s annual lease rate, Shahrir said.
The lease rate is the rent paid by FIC Grand Plaza Ltd, the firm managing the businesses of FIC UK Properties Sdn Bhd, he said.