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An aerial view of an FGV palm oil plantation. The company drew investment from thousands of the country's small farmers in its 2012 initial public offering.(Photo courtesy of FGV)
Business Spotlight

'F should mean food': Malaysia's FGV looks beyond palm oil

Plantation owner has struggled since stock market debut but CEO wants to diversify

P PREM KUMAR, Nikkei staff writer | Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR -- The palm plantations that FGV Holdings owns, stretching across the Malaysian landscape, make it hard to believe that the company could once boast of being in the same league as Facebook.

But that was briefly the case back in 2012 when the stock market debuts of the U.S. social media company and the Malaysian palm oil producer became two of the year's most valuable initial public offerings. Just a few months after Mark Zuckerberg raised $16 billion in a Nasdaq debut, FGV -- then known as Felda Global Ventures -- raised 10.4 billion ringgit ($2.49 billion at the current exchange rate) on the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange.

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