FGV share price tumbles on news CEO, CFO put on leave of absence

KUALA LUMPUR: Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd’s (FGV) shares and warrants came under heavy selling pressure yesterday, as investors reacted to news of the group’s CEO and CFO being forced to take leave of absence, a decision its parent was not involved in.

According to FGV chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad, Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) was not involved in any of the decisions made by FGV in relation to the issue so far. This is despite Felda being FGV’s largest shareholder.

Asked why Felda does not have representation on FGV’s board, he said the appointment has to follow procedures.

It was reported that Felda chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad had submitted three names to be representatives on the FGV board. However, Isa said no decision has been made yet.

FGV’s share price fell 6.36% to close at RM1.62, from a low of RM1.52 during the day. A total of 96.7 million shares were traded. Its warrants also saw no respite, with most falling on the news.

FGV’s share price has been on a downward trend since rumours of Isa’s bid to oust CEO Datuk Zakaria Arshad began to surface last week. On Monday, a letter from Zakaria, stating that he would not resign, was released to the press.

The matter came to a head yesterday, when FGV’s board put Zakaria, CFO Ahmad Tifli Mohd Talha, FGV Trading CEO Ahmad Salman Omar and Delima Oil Products Sdn Bhd (DOP) senior general manager Kamarzaman Abd Karim, on leave of absence following findings of alleged discrepancies by external auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and internal audit.

The alleged discrepancies are related to dealings between DOP and Dubai-based Safitex.
In the interim, a board executive committee will take over the daily operations of the group. The committee comprises FGV directors Datuk Dr Omar Salim and Datuk Mohd Zafer Mohd Hashim, and head of logistics cluster Azman Ahmad.

Group financial controller for plantation sector Aznur Kama Azmir is interim group CFO.
Isa, who spoke to the press yesterday, said the board is concerned about the group’s share price.

“Of course there will be impact (from this issue). I feel this is only temporary. Once it is all completed and a decision is made, maybe we will have a new CEO and others, then the issue will be resolved,” he said.