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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        2  June 2011

Citra Borneo plans IPO

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Indonesian palm oil plantation firm Citra Borneo Indah is planning to raise between US$200 million to $360 million in an initial public offering during the second half of this year, three sources familiar with the deal said on Wednesday.

The company, owned by controversial tycoon Abdul Rasyid and his family, has about 60,000 hectares (150,000 acres) of palm oil plantations.

The firm is floating a stake of between 20 and 30 percent, valuing the whole company at between $1 billion and $1.2 billion, said the sources, who declined to be identified because the deal was not public. They said the details have not been finalized.

Citra Borneo Indah was not available to comment.

The firm, established in 1999, employs about 5,000 workers, has three palm oil mills and is based in Central Kalimantan province on Borneo island.

If successful, the IPO would become the second largest for a palm oil firm in Indonesia this year. Salim Ivomas Pratama, an agribusiness unit of Indofood Agri, raised $408 million in an IPO last month.

Rasyid, a former Indonesian parliamentarian, has been accused in the past by green groups and the Ministry of Forestry of being a leading figure behind illegal logging in Indonesia, particularly in the Tanjung Puting national park in Central Kalimantan. Rasyid has denied wrongdoing and has never been charged.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

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By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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