Islamic Finance Malaysia

Friday, 23 May 2014

Malaysia: FGV to issue US$1b sukuk

EXPANSION DRIVE: Conglomerate in midst of choosing banks for the exercise, say sources

PLANTATION giant Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) is considering selling more than US$1 billion (RM3.21 billion) of dollar-denominated exchangeable Islamic bonds (sukuk), said three people with knowledge of the deal.
    According to them, the bonds will be issued later in the year to finance its expansion drive.
    "FGV is in the midst of choosing banks for the potential offer. It wants to raise cash to buy up more companies to support its existing businesses, albeit cautiously," the sources said.
   Part of the proceeds will be used for potential acquisitions of additional landbank in Southeast Asia and Africa  by 2015 for planting oil palm and rubber.
    FGV raised more than RM11 billion by selling shares on the local stock exchange in 2012. Its initial public offering (IPO) was the second-largest in the world, after Facebook,  that year.
     A portion of the IPO exercise's proceeds was used for capital expenditure to increase efficiency as well as extension of capabilities, plantation acquisitions, expansion of downstream activities and other working capital requirements.
    For fiscal year 2013, FGV's net profit surged 21.72 per cent to RM980.99 million despite the tough economic conditions. Revenue for the full year was RM12.6 billion.
     Its cash and near cash as at end-December stood at RM5.02 billion.
    FGV plans to acquire new businesses and increase plantation acreage and crude palm oil (CPO) production to achieve its revenue target of RM100 billion.
    The company manages 853,000ha of plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia.
    Last year, the company produced 3.21 million tonnes of CPO and it plans to increase production to more than four million tonnes.
    President and chief executive officer Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah told Business Times recently that FGV aims to manage more than one million hectares of plantations.
    He said to be a RM100 billion turnover company, FGV would need to grow by eight times.

(Business Times / 23 May 2014)
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Thursday, 22 May 2014

Malaysia: Religious council introduces online zakat payment system

IPOH: The state Islamic Religious and Malay Customs Council has introduced a system which enables zakat (tithe) payments to be done online.

The system, e-PZB, was launched by state secretary Datuk Seri Abdul Puhat Mat Nayan at Dewan Bankuet of the State Secretariat building here recently.
The council's chief executive officer Dr Amiruddin Muhamed said with the online system, there is no reason for the people to shy away from paying zakat.
"With the system, you just need to register with us and we will take care of the rest," he said.
Amiruddin said with the online system, one could even pay RM10 for zakat.
"The system eliminates red tape."
Amiruddin said the council needed to increase its zakat collection as more poor people in the state are waiting for assistance.
Citing an example, Amiruddin said the council built 300 homes for the poor last year and this year the number would be increased to 400 units.
"The cost to build the homes has also increased from RM35,000 to RM38,000 for two-bedroom units while the cost to build three-bedroom homes had increased to RM44,000 from RM40,000," said Amiruddin.
Besides homes for the poor, Amiruddin said the council also had 51 other assistance.
Those facing problems to sign up with the system can call the council at 05-208 4000.
Puhat said the number of people paying zakat in the state was relatively small. He hoped the number of people paying zakat would increase through this online system.

(New Straits Times / 22 May 2014)

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