By Shannon Teoh
PUTRAJAYA, May 28 — Putrajaya today defended the 11.5 per cent allocation for government-backed Bumiputera investors in Felda Global Ventures Holdings’ (FGVH) initial public offering, saying it is “normal procedure” and would allow a fair spread of earnings across the board.
PKR had questioned earlier today the 420 million shares set aside for a list of Bumiputera firms approved by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) while the 120,000 Felda settlers, who have been promised improved earnings, have only been handed 91 million.
But minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed (picture) told a press conference that the list of Bumiputera firms approved by his ministry was “nothing special and followed current regulations.”
“A good chunk is reserved for settlers but the spread has to be there. Others must have the chance to earn from the shares,” he said.
PKR investment and trade bureau chairman Wong Chen had claimed that the allocation, according to a preliminary prospectus available from the Securities Commission, was “unfair” to settlers and only beneficial to “rich Bumiputeras.”
He said that MITI guidelines obtained from its official website stated that in order to qualify as a MITI-approved Bumiputera investor, an individual must have at least RM3 million in assets, and if it is a company (100 per cent Bumiputera owned), its assets must be worth RM10 million.
Felda employees will also be allocated 109 million shares (three per cent) while “institutional investors” such as the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Perbadanan Nasional Berhad (PNB) would be allocated 1.5 billion FGVH shares.
Datuk Seri Najib Razak is set to launch FGVH’s prospectus this Thursday for a listing the prime minister has claimed will yield larger profits and has already announced a RM1.7 billion cash windfall for all settlers and staff.
Putrajaya is forging ahead with Felda’s controversial planned public listing despite criticism from some settlers and the opposition who claim that it will short-change settlers and their families, which number up to two million.