‘Underperforming FGV top brass should be fired’

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KUALA LUMPUR: The government should sack and replace the top brass of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV), the world’s third-largest oil palm plantation operator, for the poor performance of its share price, said DAP national publicity secretary and MP for Petaling Jaya Utara Tony Pua.

“Over the past six months for example, FGV was the worst performer of all plantation stocks listed on Bursa Malaysia,” he told reporters in Parliament yesterday.

Pua cited data as at Oct 15, 2014, which showed FGV’s share price dropping by 29.1% compared to its peers — IJM Plantations Bhd (-6.3%), IOI Corp Bhd (-2.7%), Genting Plantations Bhd (-9.4%) and Sime Darby Bhd (-1.6%).

“The closest poor performer [to FGV] was Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd whose share price dropped by 16.6% over the same period.

“Not only was FGV a terrible stock to own over the past six months, it was a consistent under-performer within any measurable period ever since its listing on the exchange [on June 28, 2012],” he said.

He said that since September, FGV shares had declined further to a low of RM3.24. “This represents a shocking 40% decline in its share price over just two years.”

Pua wants the top management of FGV to take collective responsibility for the poor performance of the plantation giant and not let it slide further downhill.

He also noted that Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s reply to his (Pua’s) question on Oct 13, 2014, that the reason for the steep drop in FGV’s share price was due to the drop in the global crude palm oil prices (CPO) was not acceptable.

“If the terrible performance of FGV was solely attributable to CPO prices, then surely all other plantation companies will be afflicted with the same poor performance,” he added.

Shares in FGV closed down 0.29% to RM3.48 yesterday, giving it a market capitalisation of RM12.4 billion.

 

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 29, 2014.