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Wilmar eyes IPO in China in second half of 2019

September quarter profit hit by weak margins in palm oil

Workers sift through palm fruits at a palm oil factory near Kuala Lumpur.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- Wilmar International, Singapore's leading palm oil producer, plans to spin off its China unit and list on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in the second half of 2019, a senior executive from the company has said.

Preparation for the revived initial public offering plan is "very much on track", Chief Financial Officer Ho Kiam Kong told reporters during a teleconference for the company's September-quarter financial results on Monday. He said the "legal restructuring" of Wilmar's businesses in China, to create an entity that will be listed, would complete by the end of 2017, and the company would apply to Chinese authorities for approval in 2019. China is Wilmar's largest market and was responsible for $19.9 billion, or 48% of its total revenue, in the 2016 fiscal year.

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