Time for Malaysia to act on food security

SINGAPORE (Nov 18): Food security, says the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs.

So when Malaysia, which derived 8.2% of its GDP from agriculture in 2017, was ranked 40th in food security among 113 countries tracked by the 2018 Global Food Security Index, while Singapore, whose agricultural sector is negligible by comparison, topped the ranking, the million-dollar question was, how did we get here?


More focus needed on agri-food sector

SINGAPORE (Nov 18): The agricultural sector contributed 8.2% or RM96 billion to Malaysia’s GDP in 2017. Palm oil was the major contributor at 46.6% followed by other agriculture produce (18.6%), livestock (11.4%), fishing (10.5%), rubber (7.3%) and forestry and logging (5.6%).

Education and Research Association for Consumers Malaysia’s (ERA Consumer) report “Situation of Agriculture in Malaysia: A Cause For Concern” says the second National Agricultural Policy 1992-2010 (NAP 2) stressed that the agricultural sector should be market-led, commercialised, efficient and competitive.


UOB Venture Management launching second Asia impact fund in 2H

SINGAPORE (June 10): UOB Venture Management (UOBVM) says it intends to roll out its second impact fund, the second series of the Asia Impact Investment Fund (AIIF II), to global institutional and accredited investors in 2H19.

Focused on Asia, the AIIF II will be a double bottom-line fund that aims to achieve both impact and financial returns. It intends to take minority stakes in investee companies, with equity investments ranging from US$1 million to US$15 million ($1.4 million to 20.5 million) each.

Open letter to the board of Indofood Agri Resources

SINGAPORE (May 20): Dear Board of Directors, As a long-term investor in Indofood Agri Resources (IndoAgri), I am disappointed that you are recommending that I accept the offer from Indofood Sukses Makmur (Indofood). The offer price of 28 cents per share significantly undervalues the long-term potential of the assets held by IndoAgri, in my view. Instead of encouraging minority investors to accept such a paltry offer, you ought to be working to address our company’s obviously depressed market valuation in a manner that is fair and reasonable to all its shareholders.


Brokers slash estimates for Bumitama after 1Q disappointment, but say production remains strong

SINGAPORE (May 17): DBS Vickers Securities and UOB Kay Hian are maintaining their “buy” recommendations on Bumitama Agri Limited (BAL) with the respective price targets of 69 cents and 81 cents, even as the palm oil producer missed both research houses’ expectations with its latest set of quarterly results.

RHB Research, on the other hand, remains “neutral” on the stock while lowering its P/E based target price to 62 cents from 67 cents previously to reflect a 9% downside.  

Olam's 1Q earnings grow 6.9% to $169 mil with improved operating performance

SINGAPORE (May 14): Olam International has announced earnings of $168.9 million for 1Q19, rising 6.9% y-o-y from $158 million due to improved operating performance, which was offset in part by increased depreciation and finance costs.  

EBITDA grew 14.2% to $420.3 million on increased revenue contribution from Edible Nuts and Cocoa.

Sale of goods & services for the quarter grew 16.7% to $7.3 billion from $6.3 billion previously.

In line with the topline growth, cost of goods sold grew 16.3% to $6.6 billion from $5.6 billion a year ago.

Olam announces third palm plantation to achieve RSPO certification

SINGAPORE (May 2): Olam International says its Mouila Lot 3 palm plantation in Gabon has become Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified.

The 38,363 hectare (ha) palm plantation is managed by Olam Palm Gabon, a joint venture between Olam and the Republic of Gabon, and has a total planted area of 18.272 ha, out of which 18,765 ha of high conservation value (HCV) is being conserved.

The remaining area comprises infrastructure comprises facilities, roads and housing.

Trade-war detente leaves booby traps for investors: Reuters Breakingviews

WASHINGTON (Dec 3): The trade-war ceasefire between the United States and China leaves many booby traps for investors.

Both countries will put new tariffs on hold while the People’s Republic vows to buy more American goods and makes other concessions. Despite the upbeat tone, there are plenty of ways for things to blow up.

How IoT in agriculture could present new opportunities for investors

SINGAPORE (Nov 16): Earlier this year, Avarga, formerly known as UPP Holdings, said it was acquiring a 23.08% stake in local start-up Archisen for up to $1.5 million in three separate tranches.

Ian Tong, Avarga’s executive director, is on ­Archisen’s board. Tong is also the executive director of The Edge Media Group, which publishes The Edge Singapore.

Bumitama Agri unanimously rated 'buy' for potential undervaluation, bright outlook

SINGAPORE (Nov 13): Maybank Kim Eng, DBS Vickers Securities, RHB Research and UOB Kay Hian are maintaining their “buy” calls on Bumitama Agri with the respective price targets of 98 cents, 85 cents, 81 cents and 80 cents.

All four brokerages continue to like the stock for its positive near- to medium-term earnings outlook with the view that it is undervalued.

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