GPG's maiden harvest blossoms

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KUALA LUMPUR: The maiden harvest in January for the greenfield oil palm plantation undertaken and managed by Golden Palm Growers Bhd (GPG) had exceeded expectations, said executive chairman Andrew Phang yesterday.

As such, the firm is confident of success when commercial harvest of these palms begins in year seven - hopefully providing relief to a number of investors in its unique scheme launched in August 2010.

"GPG has attracted an overwhelming response from investors due to its unique nature, the scheme has established itself as the most successful oil palm plantation investment scheme approved by Companies Commission of Malaysia.

"We have entered the third phase with more than 3,000 investors in the scheme to date. An area of over 1,250ha has been planted out of the total of 1,720ha under development in Gua Musang, Kelantan."

The company has a 90-year concession from the state government to develop, manage and maintain the oil palm plantation on 4,565ha.

Given the recent surge in crude palm oil (CPO) prices, he said interest in the scheme has ramped up considerably - and reiterated that the investment was subject to cyclical commodity prices despite bullish forecasts.

"A total of 44,000 grower plots were created out of which 70% (30,800 plots) have been offered to the public while the company retains 30% (13,200 plots)."

Stating that a total of 14,601 plots have been sold till last month, Phang also expressed confidence the scheme will be able to sell out the remaining 16,199 plots by the end of next year.

Once the plantation is fully matured, he expressed confidence investors will enjoy a share of plantation's profits or a minimum dividend of 9%, if average annual CPO prices exceed RM1,500 per tonne up to 2033.

Investors can expect 8% returns this year, similar to last year where investors were paid 6% dividend and 2% bonus, said Phang.

"This company allows an investor to get a return based directly on 100% audited net profits of the plantation, a scheme which varies from any investment in shares of an oil palm plantation company presently available in the market, where an investor only gets a dividend based on corporate profits."

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board said CPO production last month had declined 7.93% to 1.185 million tonnes from 1.287 million tonnes in the preceding month.

For February, the average price of fresh fruit bunches per tonne fell to RM33.42, down 2.96% from the previous month.

Interestingly, biodiesel exports more than doubled last month - surging 121.05% to 11,249 tonnes.

The benchmark CPO future contracts for May deliveries closed at RM3,326 yesterday.

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