FGV to appoint external legal counsel in Dubai to investigate matters related to Safitex

Going downstream: The proposed acquisition of Zhong Ling Nutri-Oil is in line with FGVHB

KUALA LUMPUR: Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) will appoint an external legal counsel in Dubai, to work together with a local counterpart in investigating a number of transactions between its unit, Delima Oil Products Sdn Bhd and Dubai-based Safitex Trading LLC.

“They (legal counsel) will look into how to get back the money owed, according to the procedures (in Dubai),” FGV Chairman, Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad told reporters after presenting Ramadan aid to the underprivileged here today.

Asked if FGV can secure 100 per cent of what is owed by Safitex, he said: “I can’t guarantee. But, we will engage with the lawyer locally and in Dubai. We will try to get back as much as we can.” 

Safitex has not made payments to Delima Oil since the financial year ended Dec 31, 2015.

The outstanding debt which amounts to US$8.3mil resulted in an impairment exposure and was continuously reported in PricewaterhouseCooper’s (PwC) subsequent quarterly review reports.

The balance subsequently increased to US$11.7mil and exceeded the allocated credit limit as per PwC’s statutory audit for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2016 and which was reported to the Audit Committee on Feb 17, 2017.

This is according to the FGV board in a statement yesterday.

Isa also said FGV’s Group President and Chief Executive Officer Zakaria Arshad, who was forced to go on leave, would get a show cause letter once an internal inquiry being conducted is completed, and his fate would depend on the response.

Commenting on the appointment of Datuk Seri Idris Jala as an independent party to look into the FGV crisis, Isa said it was a good move and he was ready to cooperate with the former minister.

“This is a good move and we are willing to cooperate. It is a normal thing for a company to be investigated,” he said, adding, Idris has yet to contact anyone from FGV on the issue.

Asked if he would meet Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on the investigation, Isa said he would not do so, as this an internal problem. 

Isa also said he had yet to be summoned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on the matter.  “I will certainly go if they call me in. What is the point of going there if they have not called me,” he added.

On FGV’s shares, which have been badly affected since the Safitex issue emerged, Isa said it would recover once the investigation is completed.
He pointed out that any company involved in such a matter would feel the pinch too. - Bernama
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