KUALA LUMPUR (April 10): Felda's liabilities surged 11 times to RM14.4 billion in 2017 from RM1.2 billion in 2007, due to additional debt incurred by Felda to finance non-strategic investment, according to Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.
In his speech during the tabling of the Felda White paper today, Mohamed Azmin said of the RM14.4 billion liabilities, 84% or RM12.1 billion represents Felda's group debt, whereas remaining 16% comprises outstanding payment to creditors and liability for replanting activities.
He said the jump in liabilities resulted in Felda's financing costs to increase from an average of RM3 million in 2007-2008 to an average of RM260 million in 2009-2017. Its gearing rose from 0.1 times in 2007 to 1.15 times in 2017.
It should be noted that the Finance Ministry, which approved a facility of RM577 million in 2018, has issued the remaining RM500 million in March 2019.
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