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NEWS UPDATES 15 July 2009

Malaysian firm to expand palm estates

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Malaysian planter United Malacca (UMB) will spend 240 million ringgit ($67 million) to almost double its oil palm estates with a land acquisition in Borneo Island, the firm was quoted by Reuters as saying Tuesday.

United Malacca will acquire 10,102 hectares from an unlisted company in the state of Sabah in Borneo, the prime palm producing region in Malaysia, the latest purchase by Malaysian planters seeking to meet growing demand for the vegetable oil.

"At present, the size of United Malacca's total plantation land is approximately 14,008 hectares. The large proportion of mature planted area emphasises the need for UMB to source for new plantation land so as to ensure continued growth," the firm said in a filing with the stock exchange.

The new estates have relatively immature oil palm trees younger than five years old, which will reduce the maturity profile of United Malacca, the firm said. The purchase will be funded internally.

Shares of United Malacca closed up 1.37 percent at 7.40 ringgit, in line with gains in the broader market .KLSE.


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