Felda to sell off assets to strengthen financial position, says Azmin

Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali tables the Felda White Paper in Parliament April 10, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali tables the Felda White Paper in Parliament April 10, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — Several assets under the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) will be liquidated to improve the agency’s cash flow and strengthen its financial position, Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said today.

The Economic Affairs minister said the government has identified several potential non-strategic assets to be disposed of but stopped short of revealing the assets that may be sold off.

“We are in the bidding process now. It has to go through an open tender process to ensure we get the highest possible value for the assets that would be liquidated.

“With the new management and leadership at Felda and the measures to be taken, we hope to restore the confidence of the settlers and improve Felda’s financial position within five years,” he told reporters after tabling the Felda White Paper in Parliament.

He added that Felda will prioritise on improving its financial position, supported by the RM6.23 billion government guarantee in the form of loans and grants.

The White Paper also stated that the infusion was needed to manage Felda’s RM14.4 billion in liabilities as the agency has critical cash-flow problems.

It revealed that Felda was expected to delay its RM1.98 billion debt repayment this year, with another RM9.3 billion to be paid periodically in eight years, between 2020 and 2028.

Azmin said with the government guarantees, Felda will be able to discuss with its creditors to reschedule its payments to the financial institutions involved.

“As I have stated earlier, for example last year, Felda had to pay RM1.4 billion in debt payment and interest rates to financial institutions which meant that Felda was unable to move forward in that kind of position.

“Therefore the government guarantees will be used for several initiatives, including the provision of housing for the second generation of Felda settlers, reducing the debt burden of the settlers as well as improving the productivity of the settlements,” Azmin said.

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