Wilmar holds plans to list China operations on Hong Kong bourse

02 March 2010 07:02  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Palm plantation owner Wilmar International has put on hold plans to list its Chinese operations on the Hong Kong stock exchange due to poor market conditions, a company source said on Tuesday.

"The plan has not been scrapped but it is something we will continually assess while we place it on hold," the source said. 

The company could not get a favourable price from investors due to uncertainty in the Chinese market, said chairman and chief executive Kuok Khoon Hong on Monday.

Wilmar had on 28 February reported a 19% year-on-year rise in its fourth quarter net profit to $442m (€327m) on higher commodities’ prices, the company said in a statement.

Total sales from its various business segments rose 19% to $6.9bn in the fourth quarter, from $5.8bn in the year-ago period, Wilmar added.

Pre-tax profit from oilseed & grains surged to $146m during the period on stronger demand while the segment’s performance in the same period in 2008 was hampered by the global financial crisis, the company said.

Its plantation and palm oil mills segment, meanwhile, posted a 41% increase in pre-tax profits to $122m, the statement said, adding that net profit for full year 2009 rose 23% to $1.88bn while revenue dipped 18% to $23.8bn.

Looking ahead, Wilmar planned to invest and expand operations in India and China, the source said.

While India remained an important market, it was “not correct” to say that Wilmar aimed to expand its India business to almost half of its Chinese operations in the next ten years, the source said, refuting media reports.

“We are building new capacities all over India but we are doing it slowly. There is no timeline,” the source added.

The Singapore-based company has palm plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia.

($1 = €0.74)

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By: Nurluqman Suratman

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