Malaysian palm-oil business 2nd largest IPO

Featured - June 13th, 2012

Malaysian palm-oil producer Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd. plans to create the world’s second-largest IPO, after Facebook, as demand continues to increase, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Frost & Sullivan indicated an average of 7.5% yearly increase between 1991 and 2011. The demand for palm-oil, which is used in a variety of goods such as lipstick, potato chips and biodiesel fuel, is expected to climb consistently.

Felda Global, the world’s third-largest palm-oil company, aims to raise $3.2 billion this month and will price on Wednesday. The deal will help put Malaysia on the global investment map, competing with China and other Asian neighbors. The listing will also push Malaysia to effectively contend as the world’s biggest palm-oil producer after it lost ground to Indonesian, African and Latin American producers.

Felda indicated a positive outlook for its shares, sold at the maximum of the price range of four ringgit to 4.65 ringgit ($1.26 to $1.46), and could raise $3.4 billion for the government after its June 28 listing on the Malaysian Stock Exchange.

However, Felda is facing environmentalist attacks; palm-oil production is a major contributor to deforestation. The palm-oil producer needs to tackle production issues including its lower yields from old trees, lack of fertilizers, irrigation and available land for newer plantations.