Thursday, June 17, 2010

MSWG Asking Why So Much Money Donated By Syed Mokhtar Firms To Albukhary International University

I do want to highlight the following article posted on the Edge Financial.

  • Syed Mokhtar-linked firms’ donations questioned
    Written by Jose Barrock
    Thursday, 17 June 2010 11:07

    KUALA LUMPUR: Tradewinds Plantation Bhd’s (TPB) AGM today could be an interesting affair as the Minority Shareholder Watchdog Group (MSWG) has sent to the company a set of questions ranging from crude oil pricing to a donation of
    RM10 million made to the Albukhary International University, sources said.

    Of particular interest to minority shareholders will be the RM10 million donation, which is deemed as excessive, representing about 20% of the company’s net profit. MSWG’s list of questions also include seeking clarity on its plans to build palm oil mills.

    TPB’s 69.76% parent Tradewinds (M) Bhd is also understood to have received a letter from MSWG over its own contribution of RM10 million as well, to the same university. Tradewinds’ AGM is slated for June 22.

    The RM10 million contribution by Tradewinds works out to about 12% of its net profit for FY09. Issues have cropped up as Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary controls almost 43% of Tradewinds and has an interest in the university as well.

    The RM350 million Albukhary International University in Alor Setar, Kedah comes under the control of the Yayasan Albukhary, which in turn is controlled by Syed Mokhtar.

    This will not be the first fiery AGM in the businessman’s stable of companies.

    The Edge Financial Daily learnt that Syed Mokhtar’s flagship MMC Corporation Bhd’s AGM at end-April was also a fiery one, with shareholders questioning
    a RM75 million contribution to the university.

    For FY09, MMC posted a net profit of RM236.71 million on RM8.44 billion in revenue, which means the contribution to the Albukhary International University amounted to over 30% of the net profit. Syed Mokhtar, via his vehicle Seaport Terminal (Johore) Sdn Bhd, controls about 42.47% of MMC.

    Even more interesting was a contribution by water player Aliran Ihsan Resources Bhd, which gave away some RM20 million to the university. Aliran Ihsan’s net profit for FY09 amounted to RM30.23 million, meaning that the company forked out almost two-thirds of its net profits to the university.

    Syed Mokhtar’s MMC has more than 70% equity interest in Aliran Ihsan.

    Another company the tycoon controls, Padiberas Nasional Bhd (Bernas), has forked out RM20 million to the Albukhary International University. Bernas is 72.57% owned by Tradewinds.

    In total companies linked to the tycoon is understood to have donated anywhere between RM135 million and RM150 million to the university. Another Syed Mokhtar-controlled company, DRB Hicom Bhd, has not done so.

    According to MSWG’s letter to TPB, such donations are normally in the 2% or 3% range of net profits and that “the (TPB) board should provide more clarification on the substantial contribution”.

    “Giving out to charity or such causes is fine; just ensure the company pays out dividends and then pay it from your own pocket,” an industry observer said.

    This article appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, June 17, 2010.



So much money... going to just one university.

Here is Albukhary International University website:

Here is one blog posting on AIU last year:

  • The proposed University Campus, located near Alor Setar city center will be built on approximately 70 acres of land. It is envisage that this university will be a modern and progressive Islamic Institution, focusing on Islamic knowledge in Science, Technology and Arts.

Do check it out as it as pictures of the University loaded.


Moolah said...

Tradewinds Plantation board defends RM10m donation to university

KUALA LUMPUR: Tradewinds PLANTATION [] Bhd (TPB) board of directors and management stood by its RM10 million donation to Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar-owned Albukhary International University and said the company donated the sum because it "had made a lot of profit in the previous financial years".

At a press conference after the annual general meeting (AGM), TPB chief executive Chan Seng Fatt said the RM10 million was a one-off donation and it should not be looked as a sum given in relation to one financial year only.

"In the last three years, we made about RM400 million of net profit and the question of this donation should not be about the timing, but whether or not we can afford it," he told a group of reporters on Thursday, June 17.

Chan also clarified that after including the tax benefits and grossing the amount, the donation merely consisted of 12% of its FY2009 net profit of RM51.5 million and not a simplistic calculation that leads to 20% of its net profit.

The RM350 million Albukhary International University in Alor Setar, Kedah comes under the control of the Yayasan Albukhary, which in turn is controlled by Syed Mokhtar, created unhappiness among its shareholders.

In an AGM that lasted almost two hours, shareholders questioned TPB's willingness to donate a large amount of net profit into a university controlled by its major shareholder and tycoon Syed Mokhtar.

"Why are they doing something that does not benefit shareholders at all? The dividend of 6 sen have been stagnant for several years now, and instead of giving higher dividend, the board chose to donate a large sum of money to a university owned by its major shareholder.

"What are the independent directors doing?" a frustrated shareholder told The Edge Financial Daily on the sidelines after the AGM.

Moolah said...

I feel that the comments are extremely valid.

Why should the company donate so much to charity? Compare that sum to what it gives back to it's shareholders.

Does it's shareholders NOT matter?

And I find what TPB ceo Chan Seng Fatt explanation to be poor. 10 million is 10 million. Period. No buts.

Now if the company reckons that the minority shareholder does not matter, well the minority shareholder should be smarter and vote with their feet!

Remember the MMC/Johor Port fiasco?

solomon said...

Ya, why not declared a more generous dividend and the major shareholder can do whatever he wants with that money.

This unpopular move is only going to say to the world "I do it my way" like the song by FRank Sinatra.....

If you want to donate, maybe those Tamil or Chinese National schools or even old folks home need this more, isn't it?

Brown cow, do you need a new ranch or yard? Queue up please and see whether u got yours next year??

random said...

mr syed mokhtar seems to forget that when he listed his company he ceases to be its only owner.. and yet he is operating all his companies like his personal chequebook..

the senai airport purchase was another in a list of countless selfish actions

why would any self-respecting investor buy any of his shares is beyond me