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NEWS UPDATES 28 August 2009

Malaysia palm oil giant to pour $851m into China refineries

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Sime Darby Bhd, the world’s biggest listed oil palm planter, will spend $851 million on refineries in China over four to five years as it aims to book higher earnings next year, reported Bloomberg news.

“Our downstream activities and end products of palm oil” are “the biggest potential in the long run,” chairman Tun Musa Hitam said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur Thursday.

Sime Darby has set up a joint venture in China with Dongguan Sinograin Oils & Grains Co which will focus on the refining, storage and sale of palm oils and fats, the company said in November.

The investment may boost its palm oil sales to China, the biggest buyer of vegetable oils, which expects imports of the commodity to reach a record 5.3 million tons this year.

“We expect stronger earnings ahead as global and regional economies have bottomed,” Ong Chee Ting, a plantation analyst at Maybank Investment Bank Bhd, wrote in a report today. “Crude palm oil prices have held up well,” said Ong, who rates the stock a “hold.”


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