Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

 

Apartment owners’ class-action lawsuit against The Arc @ Cyberjaya developer kicks off

SHAH ALAM: A class-action lawsuit involving 137 unit owners, who are seeking the return of outstanding rentals owed to them by Maju Puncakbumi Sdn Bhd, the developer of serviced apartment project named The Arc @ Cyberjaya kicked off at the Shah Alam High Court today.

The apartment owners’ claims against the developer include 8% interest on the outstanding rentals, agreed liquidated damages as stated in the agreement, general damages, and/or aggravated damages, as well as exemplary damages.

The Arc @ Cyberjaya is a RM700 million freehold development, which was launched in 2011, comprising four blocks of serviced apartments with at an average price of RM350,000 per unit and four blocks of office towers.

Incorporated in 2009, Maju Puncakbumi offers commercial and residential property development services. The company is based in Subang Jaya and operates as a subsidiary of Meda Inc Bhd.

Vincent Lim, the lawyer representing the owners, told SunBiz today the owners have applied for summary judgement to be granted by the court on the decision date, in order to avoid trial. Shah Alam High Court judge Datuk Roslan Abu Bakar has fixed Nov 2, 2017 as the decision date.

It was reported that the owners were given an option to sign up for a guaranteed rental return (GRR) scheme, which promised a fixed rental income for up to 25 years, when they signed the sale and purchase agreement.

The scheme, with an annual return rate of 8%, is offered in packages lasting six, 10 or 25 years.

Previously, the development project manager, Andaman Property Management Sdn Bhd (APM), said the scheme is offered to the buyers to ease their concerns about a possible slowdown and to reduce fears they may have on finding tenants or collecting rental payments.

Under GRR scheme, which is also known as a leaseback programme, the developer will be responsible for looking for tenants and managing the property for the buyers, with a guaranteed rental income for a predetermined period.

APM also said it believed it could afford to guarantee the gross rental rate due to its leasing agreement with Multimedia University to provide the apartments as hostels for its students for up to 25 years.

However, the owners claimed they have stopped receiving their rental after a year, from as far back as March last year.


Fate of FGV president/CEO Zakaria to be decided by MoF Inc

PETALING JAYA: Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd’s (FGV) group president/CEO Datuk Zakaria Arshad is still waiting for a decision on his position at the plantation giant despite the completion of a domestic inquiry.

A source with knowledge of the matter told SunBiz that the domestic inquiry has been completed and its findings, along with the recommended action, have been submitted to FGV’s special shareholder, Minister of Finance (Inc), or MoF Inc, shortly before its new chairman, Datuk Wira Azhar Abdul Hamid, started work on Sept 11.

“That is the standard procedure. Once the inquiry has been completed, the findings will be submitted, along with the recommended action, but the decision will be made by the special shareholder. Any decision related to the chairman and CEO of FGV is under the purview of the special shareholder MoF Inc, which is ultimately the Prime Minister,” said the source.

However, the decision on the other three suspended executives, namely group CFO Ahmad Tifli Mohd Talha, FGV Trading CEO Ahmad Salman Omar and Delima Oil Products Sdn Bhd senior general manager Kamarzaman Abd Karim, was made by the board of directors.

Today, Ahmad Tifli resumed his duties after being suspended for almost four months while Ahmad Salman and Kamarzaman returned to work last week.

FGV, which was expected to announce the outcome of the domestic inquiry more than two weeks ago, has made no announcements on the findings of the inquiry, recommended actions or Zakaria’s fate to date.

When contacted by SunBiz, Zakaria said he has not been in contact with FGV since the completion of the domestic inquiry and is still waiting for a decision on his position at FGV.

However, he remained tight-lipped when asked if he was contacted by MoF Inc or the Prime Minister’s Office.

He continues to be on leave of absence while his duties are being attended to by officer-in-charge Datuk Khairil Anuar Aziz.

To recap, Zakaria, Ahmad Tifli, Kamarzaman and Ahmad Salman were issued with letters for leave of absence in early June following an internal audit investigation whereby alleged discrepancies were found in the dealings between Delima Oil Products and Safitex Trading LLC.

Zakaria and Ahmad Tifli were subsequently served show-cause letters and, on July 18, a domestic inquiry commenced to investigate the issues relating to the long outstanding debt of Safitex which rose to US$11.7 million, exceeding the allocated credit limit.

Earlier, in June, former FGV chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad said the group would appoint an external legal counsel in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, to look into recovering the money owed according to procedures in Dubai.

However, there has been no update since then on the appointment of the external legal counsel or on the recovery of the money owed. Safitex has not made any payments to Delima Oil Products since the financial year ended Dec 31, 2015.

FGV’s share price increased 1.79% or 3 sen to close at RM1.71 today with a total of 4.58 million shares traded. It has a market capitalisation of RM6.20 billion.


Auditor: Material uncertainty may cast doubt on Perisai Petroleum as going concern

PETALING JAYA: Practice Note 17 (PN 17) company Perisai Petroleum Teknologi Bhd’s external auditor, Messrs Baker Tilly AC, has issued a statement of “material uncertainty related to going concern” in respect of the group’s audited financial statements ended June 30, 2017.

Messrs Baker Tilly highlighted that Perisai incurred a net loss of RM606.95 million and RM308.62 million at the group and company level respectively for the financial period ended June 30, 2017, with its current liabilities exceeding current assets by RM1.34 billion and RM729.54 million.

Hence, the auditor said, the financial conditions as well as other issues indicate that a material uncertainty exists that may cast significant doubt about the group’s and the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.

For instance, Perisai may need to make impairment on the plant and equipment and investments in its joint ventures, given the persistently weak oil prices adversely affecting the demand and charter rates of the group’s oil and gas operating assets.

“The directors have performed an impairment assessment to estimate the recoverable amount of these assets with reference to the valuation performed by an external independent valuer.”

Besides that, Perisai provided corporate guarantee to the lenders of its subsidiaries and joint ventures, including the payment obligations under the Medium-Term Notes Programme. During the financial period, it has recognised an expense of RM88.75 million in respect of the financial guarantee contracts provided to the subsidiaries arising from the remeasurement of the financial guarantee contracts.

Perisai noted that it is in the midst of formalising a restructuring and regularisation plan with its consultants to address its net current liabilities positions and PN17 status.

“The group is pursuing all avenues available to recover the receivables,” it said.

Perisai’s share price closed unchanged at 4.5 sen today on 1.14 million shares done. Year-to-date the stock has lost 47% of its value.


UK employers, already on edge over Labour, worry about May’s ‘tinkering’

LONDON, Oct 4 — British business leaders reacted warily to Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan for more government intervention in power and housing markets, and said big unanswered questions about Brexit would drag on the economy. In an…


UK employers, already on edge over Labour, worry about May’s ‘tinkering’ (VIDEO)

LONDON, Oct 4 — British business leaders reacted warily to Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan for more government intervention in power and housing markets, and said big unanswered questions about Brexit would drag on the economy. In an…


US stocks pause as private-sector hiring slows

NEW YORK, Oct 4 — Wall Street stocks paused early today, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq retreating slightly from records, as private-sector hiring slowed in September. Total private employment rose by 135,000 in September, lower than analysts’…


India central bank holds rates, cuts growth outlook amid slowdown

MUMBAI, Oct 4 — India’s central bank held interest rates at a seven-year-low today as it downgraded growth forecasts for Asia’s third largest economy amid a slowdown following recent high-profile reforms. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)…


Bison to collaborate with two JV partners

PETALING JAYA: Bison Consolidated Bhd is expected to sign joint venture agreements with two joint venture partners today, in an effort to create new innovative concepts to help improve the convenience stores market in Malaysia.

The joint ventures are to enable Bison to tap into new opportunities and product offerings for revenue growth.

Trading in the securities of Bison is suspended today pending the announcement of the joint ventures.

Its share price fell 2.06% or 5 sen to close at RM2.38 yesterday with a total of 351,100 shares traded, giving it a market capitalisation of RM744.17 million.


Deleum bags Petronas Carigali services contract

PETALING JAYA: Deleum Bhd has been awarded a maintenance, construction and modification services contract by Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, Deleum said its subsidiary Deleum Primera Sdn Bhd was awarded the contract on Sept 20, 2017.

The duration of the contract will be for a primary period of five years with one year extension option effective from Sept 20, 2017 till Sept 19, 2022, at an agreed fixed schedule of rates.

Deleum said the details of the scope of works in relation to the contract will be addressed in work orders to be issued by Petronas Carigali.

The scope of works include any or all other work and services which is generally related to topside structural maintenance, hook up and commissioning and facilities improvement programme.

The value of the contract depends on the agreed rates and the work orders issued by Petronas Carigali during the contract execution.

The contract is expected to contribute positively towards the earnings and net assets per share of Deleum for the financial years ending Dec 31, 2018 till 2022.

Deleum’s share price closed unchanged at 91.5 sen today with a total of 676,000 shares traded, giving it a market capitalisation of RM364.18 million.


Olympia sells stake in Singapore travel company

PETALING JAYA: Olympia Industries Bhd’s unit Olympia Ventures Sdn Bhd is disposing its 70% equity interest in Olympia Travels & Tours (Singapore) Pte Ltd (OTTS) to UK-based Global Mobility Investments Limited, in a complex deal which will require it to secure and service a S$1.75 million (RM5.43 million) loan for OTTS.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the company said it would receive S$840,000 for the stake, be forwarded S$1.75 million fixed deposits of OTTS and an estimated S$1.20 million excess cash within 10 business days from the completion date on Jan 1, 2018 or such other date as agreed between the parties in writing.

A condition precedent for the deal however, would be for Olympia Venture to secure a financing facility from banks to replace the S$1.75 million fixed deposits from OTTS. As no liabilities are to be transferred to Global Mobility, it looks like Olympia Ventures will be servicing the loan taken.

Its original investment in the travel and tour agency in 1998 was RM1.31 million (S$654,642.00).

According to the same announcement, Olympia is set to gain RM2.78 million from the disposal, based on the latest audited financial statements of Olympia Group for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2016. The disposal is expected to be completed by first quarter of 2018.

The net proceeds from the deal is to be used as working capital for the company.

Olympia is principally involved in property investment and development, stockbroking, gaming, travel and tours and restaurant operations.

Olympia’s share price was unchanged at 13.5 sen with some 8.07 million shares changing hands.