The share prices of Felda Global Ventures Holdings (FGV) would have been lower if it not for the intervention of several institutions, including the Employee’s Provident Fund (EPF), claimed PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim.

NONEAnwar (right), a former finance minister, said bank valuations showed that the share price was being artificially inflated, but did not name the banks involved.

“If we were to look at independent analysis such as from banks, the actual price is RM3.50 per unit.

“That price is held at RM4.62 due to intervention in the form of purchases from the EPF, the Retirement Fund Incorporated, and other institutions,” he said at a press conference today.

Anwar lamented that as palm oil and rubber prices are dropping, the government had done nothing to alleviate the lives of those dependent on these commodities.

Instead, he said FGV was listed on the stock exchange and settlers were sold 800 units of shares, but could not sell it for six months.

“The only ones who benefit (from the FGV listing) are cronies, including FGV’s chairperson and board of directors who got the shares for nothing and sell it early for a profit. Then the price drops,” he said.

Safety net

He pointed out that since last year, crude palm oil prices has dropped 23 percent from RM3,225 per metric tonne to RM2,477 per metric tonne, while SMR-CV grade natural rubber prices has dropped 12 percent from RM10.87 per kilogramme to RM9.61 per kilogram.

Anwar pledged that once Pakatan Rakyat comes into power, it would form National Commodity Welfare Fund as a social security net.

palm oil palm kelapa sawit 201107He said the federal government would contribute RM100 million per year to the fund, which would in turn provide easy loans, educations aids, and other support for families whose livelihood depend on commodity prices, in event it drops below a certain level.

He also called for closer cooperation with Indonesia, noting that the combined palm oil production of Malaysia and Indonesia would amount to 85 percent of world production.

While conceding that the prices would be influenced by international market pressures, Anwar said, “We are part of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) after all. I am not suggesting a cartel, but a synergy between these two countries would help immensely in alleviating the problem.”

He added that he has proposed that Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim should head a taskforce to work out the details these policies and to engage with industry players, based on his role heading the now-defunct plantation company Guthrie Group Limited.

Anwar is also the economic advisor to the Selangor government.-malaysiakini