PKR warned today that FELDA settlers and workers may be required to take bank loans to purchase FELDA Global Ventures Holdings (FGVH) shares once it goes public, instead of receiving the "unimaginable windfall" promised by Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Describing Najib's promise as an "election sweetener", PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar said in a statement here that it was unlikely that the settlers would be offered free shares or cash incentives as compensation for the FGVH Initial Public Offering (IPO), expected next month.
"Instead, PKR understands that FELDA settlers and workers would be required to take loans with several selected banks to purchase FGVH shares, even though some may have enough savings to purchase the IPO stocks.
"Although the loan margin is 100 per cent, the loan period is only for six months.
"This means they would have to repay the entire loan using their own savings when they receive their pink or blue forms, or use the proceeds from selling FGVH shares in the open market later to repay the loan before or when the six-month period is up," she said.
The Lembah Pantai MP added that even though the stamping fee is waived, the group would still be subject to paying bank fees and charges amounting to RM200 once the loan is officially issued or RM100 as rebate if the loan is repaid early (when the pink/blue forms are received).
She added that the "daily rest" interest of 5 per cent per annum is a significant 2.5 times higher than the 2 per cent interest granted by the government for the National Feedlot Centre's (NFC) RM250 million loan.
"Clearly what Najib has described as a quantum leap is more towards opening new business opportunities and providing opportunities to financial institutions to profit from the hard work of these FELDA settlers and workers," Nurul Izzah said.
The daughter of former finance minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim claimed that five banks have been appointed to handle all matters related to the FGVH listing, seven banks selected to offer loans for the shares purchase and several brokerage firms to carry out the share transactions in the open market.
The "most significant" of all, added Nurul Izzah, is the exorbitant charges to be borne by FGVH for the advice and listing management services of two local investment banks - Maybank Investment and CIMB investment - and three foreign investment banks - Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and Deutsche.
"This approach would also liquidate Bumiputera equity in FGVH after these FELDA workers and settlers sell off their shares in the open market to repay their bank debts.
"Although the KPF (Felda Investment Cooperative) is expected to remain the largest shareholder as well as Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), Tabung Haji and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), while foreign firms would only be offered a small portion of shares in the FGVH IPO, there is nothing to stop investors (both Bumiputera and non-Bumiputera) from purchasing FGVH shares in the open market," she said.
Nurul Izzah told Najib to stop dangling his promise of windfall to fish for votes and explain to the public the "trap" behind the coming FGVH IPO.
"The PM should respond to each and every one of the above mechanism to dispel the fears of many and focus on the rights and interests of the less-fortunate," she said.
20 Years or so ago Bumiputras were encouraged to take loans of up to RM100,000 to buy Amanah Saham Bumiputra Unit Trust. About 10 years later, when dividends on the unit trust fell, many were trapped as they could not repay the outstanding balances. Banks forfeited the Unit Trusts that were 'charged' to them as security for the loans. These were sold, and where there was shortfall, the banks went after the borrowers. I believe some were declared bankrupt. History could repeat itself in the much touted FGVH IPO.
The Felda settlers will be taken for a ride and be CHARGED for it as well.! Trust Barisan to do the right thing .Never.!!!