This is written by my colleague, Rupa Damodaran.
US-BASED public policy research institute, the Heritage Foundation, has chided the World Bank for its plans to revise its strategy for future development assistance in the palm oil sector.
The International Finance Corp (IFC), under the World Bank, suspended approval of new palm oil development investment in September 2009, pending a review of practices in the sector.
It is learnt that the IFC’s moratorium had hampered investment plans of several Malaysian planters keen on expanding oil palm cultivation in Africa.
The Washington-based Heritage Foundation is also urging the Obama Administration to advise the bank to uphold its original mission of alleviating poverty with a pro-growth strategy.
Roberts, in his newly released research paper, said the palm oil sector is vital to economic growth and job creation in Indonesia, Malaysia and other developing countries. “Restriction to further development in the palm oil sector will block opportunities to raise living standards and reduce poverty levels in the third world. Strings, in the form of narrowly-defined sustainable criteria, attached to World Bank’s loans will potentially harm trade and investment partners too,” he said.
For the past decade, numerous western environment activists have campaigned against oil palm planting in tropical countries, alleging that it destroys rainforests and endangers wildlife such as the orang utan. “These groups are selective in their environmental crusade. The real motive is to oppose imports of cheaper but higher quality vegetable oils into Europe because it threatens the market share of their homegrown rapeseed oil,” he added.
Many of these environmental activists who target their attacks on oil palm planting nations like Malaysia and Indonesia are recipients of tens of the millions of euros in annual grants from the EU environment ministries and the European Commission, the Heritage Foundation report revealed.
“Foreign direct investments to develop the palm oil industry has played an important part in fuelling the economic growth and freedom in developing nations. In the last 30 years, oil palm planting investmens has increased stability and prosperity in Indonesia and Malaysia (together accounting for as much as 85 per cent of world palm oil production), as well as Colombia, Liberia and Ghana,” he said.
The oil palm industry employs more than 570,000 in Malaysia and over three million people in Indonesia, contributing to more than US$27 billion (RM87.5 billion) in sales, in 2007.
Roberts said over the past five decades, the World Bank and the IFC together have invested nearly US$1.3 billion (RM4.2 billion) in oil palm projects and have helped palm oil-producing countries develop prudently while protecting the environment and wildlife.
“It is distressing to see the World Bank re-orientating its development resources away from private sector economic and agricultural development projects,” he said.
This news article was published last week, 23rd June 2010.
SWITZERLAND’S biggest supermarket chain operator Migros did not said it will stop buying palm oil from us, says a spokesperson for IOI Corp Bhd.
In fact, both companies said they will seek to engage with environmental activists who, without evidence or proof, have alleged IOI of illegal land grab and forest burning.
In a statement issued from the Netherlands yesterday, IOI said the allegations surfaced when the Miri High Court declared on March 31 this year, that the villagers had won a suit against the state authorities and IOI over a land dispute.
This case, however, is not over. IOI and the Sarawak government agency Land Custody and Development Authority (Pelita), have filed an appeal. “The court did not allow the natives’ claims for a declaratory order to cancel the leases issued for the lands.
“Thirdly, the court did not grant any injunction sought by the natives restraining IOI and Pelita from remaining and continuing its operation on the lands,” said IOI.
“It is very important for IOI and Migros to clarify the current situation and define the next steps,” said the spokesperson.
Migros Industries head of food production Robert Keller was recently reported as saying that his company plans to submit a fact-finding request to the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), over the illegal land grab and deforestation allegations by environmental activists.
“Therefore, earlier news reports have wrongly judged IOI over allegations that are not proven,” the IOI spokesperson explained.
Currently, IOI has three RSPO-certified plantations in Malaysia. It hopes to receive certification for all of its holdings by the end of next year. In April this year, IOI was the first among RSPO members to offer large-scale segregated palm oil shipment to Europe.
EMERY Oleochemicals Group, an equal joint venture between Thailand-based PTT Chemical International Pte Ltd and Sime Darby Plantation Sdn Bhd, has set aside US$200 million (RM644 million) as capital expenditure (capex) for the next five years.
Emery, whose global capacity touches 1 million tonnes a year, plans to double its Asian capacity to around 650,000 tonnes a year.
In 2006, half of Cognis oleochemical business was sold to Golden Hope Plantations Sdn Bhd, now part of Sime Darby Bhd. In November 2008, Cognis owners sold the remaining 50 per cent stake to PTT Chemical for €104 million (RM412.88 million).
Renamed as Emery, the oleochemicals group continue to provide job opportunities to more than 1,000 people in the US, Europe and Asia.
My friend is treating me to a sumptuous lunch of steak teppanyaki. Yay!
CHINA has recognised Malaysia as an approved investment destination under its Qualified Domestic Institutional Investor (QDII) scheme administered by the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC).
The Securities Commission (SC) said in a statement yesterday that the recognition is a major step forward for the Malaysian capital market as it will facilitate the flow of Chinese funds into the country and open up business opportunities for the Malaysian capital market intermediaries.
SC chairman Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar and CBRC chairman Liu Ming Kang signed the letters of exchange in Beijing, China, yesterday to formalise the recognition.
Also present were Bursa Malaysia chairman Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah, Malaysian ambassador to China Datuk Iskandar Sarudin and Finance Ministry’s deputy secretary general (policy) Datuk Latifah Datuk Abu Mansor.
At the same time, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) confirmed Malaysia as an approved investment destination based on its memorandum of understanding signed with the SC in 1997. QDII is a scheme which enables Chinese nationals to invest in overseas markets through approved institutions.
Approved institutions regulated by CBRC and CSRC may now invest funds pooled from their clients into Malaysian securities, including equities, fixed-income products and collective investment schemes approved by the SC. They may also engage the services of licensed Malaysian fund managers to assist with QDII investment matters.
SC said the potential inflows of Chinese funds will contribute to increased liquidity in the Malaysian market.
With the designation, the country now joins the ranks of 10 other QDII recognised jurisdictions under the CBRC. They are Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Germany, Japan, Luxembourg, Singapore, South Korea, the UK and the US.
In a separate statement, Bursa Malaysia Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Yusli Mohamed Yusoff said the QDII recognition was a significant development for the Malaysian market in paving the way for China funds seeking investment opportunities in this part of the region. “This augurs well for Bursa Malaysia and is aligned with our other initiatives such as improving our country classification for the capital market,” Yusli said.
US funds can now trade palm oil in KL
The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (US CFTC) has allowed member brokers of Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Bhd to solicit and accept orders and customer funds directly from US customers without the need to register separately as a futures broker in the US.
Bursa Malaysia said in a statement that this approval was issued in relation to Regulation 30.10 of the US Commodity Exchange Act. “The approval was premised on the fact that member brokers of Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Bhd are subject to comparable customer protection standards in Malaysia,” it said.
Bursa Malaysia Derivatives chief executive officer Chong Kim Seng said it was a new added opportunity for its brokers to capitalise on this opportunity to increase their trading base.
“With the approval from US CFTC, and through the active solicitation of our brokers, we believe that Bursa Malaysia Derivatives’ futures products will gain wider market access and thereby, encourage more cross border trading. It will eventually create more vibrancy in the market and strengthen the profile of our derivatives offerings,” he added.
Member brokers are required to file certain representations with the US National Futures Association to avail themselves of the Regulation 30.10 relief.
Datuk Mohd Bakke Salleh has been named the new chief of Sime Darby Bhd and analysts think he could be the man to fix the conglomerate based on his track record.
Bakke earned his spurs after he helped to restructure Lembaga Tabung Haji in 2001-2002 following fraudulent withdrawals and poor investment decisions. The 56-year-old Bakke is currently group president and chief executive of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Sdn Bhd, the overseas investment arm of Felda Group.
TA Securities analyst James Ratnam said Bakke’s appointment as Sime Darby’s president and group chief executive makes sense due to his experience in plantations and properties and these are the divisions that contribute most to the company’s bottomline. “He’s reputed to be straightforward and takes a hands-on approach in managing large entities,” Ratnam said.
Bakke’s appointment, which will happen “as soon as practicable” comes in the wake of Sime Darby losing about RM1 billion from several energy and utility projects.
Sime Darby’s board has yet to meet Bakke. “He’s travelling. We’ve not had a chance to discuss employment tenure and possible salary package,” Sime Darby chairman Tun Musa Hitam said at a press conference yesterday.
He then said it might be timely to take a fresh look at remuneration although the board is guided by market rates.
Asked if Bakke’s appointment was recommended by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, he replied, “No, the Prime Minister does not recommend. The Nomination Committee within the Board recommended Datuk Bakke and I’m pleased to say he is eminently suitable for the job.”
Musa also declined to say who else was recommended for the job. Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid, the head of Sime Darby Plantation Sdn Bhd, will continue to be acting chief executive of Sime Darby until Bakke assumes his new role.
Shares of Sime Darby rose one sen to close at RM7.81 yesterday.
Mercury Securities senior analyst Edmund Tham said he had expected the appointment to come from among existing leaders in other government-linked companies.
制药公司Hovid，通过子公司Agrovid SA，计划在5年内投资300万马币在哥伦比亚种植油棕树 。
“这不是一朝一夕的决定。 此实我们早在十年前考虑(往哥考虑伦比亚的发展) ，”Hovid总经理 David Ho 告诉马来西亚商业时报 (Malaysia Business Times)。
约2008年中，Hovid在Alto Manacacias, Puerto Gaitan，买了两块农地测量3299 公顷，价指 3.6万马币 . “这（投资）是一个长期的移动补充业务，以确保对我们的健康植物营养素的充足供应棕榈油，”何说。
. 棕榈油通过分子蒸馏提取原生植物营养素后，科学家们留下了另一种产品，叫做甲基酯。 何解释说，主要是甲基酯生物柴油。 “从棕榈油，我们得到的医疗用途的植物营养素，以及剩下的可用于燃料。”
Agrovid还计划在哥伦比亚出售生物柴油。 哥伦比亚已经授权使用柴油百分之5的国家，加入生物柴油。 “燃料的使用有没有补贴。. 因此，哥伦比亚政府更容易执行其B5的任务，“何说。
Hovid购买哥伦比亚大豆田 以过两年了。 当问为什么Agrovid缓慢补植油棕榈树与大豆作物，何说，土地转让技术问题比他最初的估计需要较长的时间。
” 我们希望开拓提前一年结束这与我们的计划。” 何对哥伦比亚对种植棕榈树表示乐观。 这毕竟是世界上第五大棕榈油的生产国。
Agrovid可能往丁美洲航运幼苗杂种。 “我们并不一定希望植物DXP的杂种。 我们首要的是可以生产三烯集中的高源油棕榈树，“他说。
PHARMACEUTICAL company Hovid Bhd, via subsidiary Agrovid SA, plans to invest RM3 million over five years to plant oil palms in Colombia.