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THE estate life is not quite Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim's cup of tea. He admires the planters' I>esprit de corps/Iand marvels at how well they have settled in at the estates, but he admits that he is not suited for such a lifestyle. The Kumpulan Guthrie Bhd's group chief executive officer recalls a typical visit: #8220;After two nights, the I>burung hantu/I(owl) was already getting on my nerves.#8221;
THE merger prospects for seven Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB)-linked plantation companies, which still appear to be up in the air, have kept most plantation analysts busy on potential scenarios.
Most Malaysian CEOs have expressed optimism that the US-led Iraq war would be short and therefore would have minimal impact on the Malaysian economy.
THE solid earnings reported recently by leading local plantation companies largely reflect the buoyancy of the crude palm oil (CPO) market last year, when prices rose by an average of 50% to RM1,343 per tonne compared with the lacklustre average price of RM893 per tonne in 2001.
MAJOR plantation group PPB Oil Palms Bhd has recorded an almost four-fold increase in group pre-tax profit to RM168.6mil for its financial year ended Dec 31, 2002, from RM47.2mil a year earlier, in line with the strong results reported by plantation companies recently.