PPB reiterates Wilmar's denial of false tax claims

PPB Group Bhd (4065), the largest shareholder in Wilmar International Ltd, reiterated Wilmar's denial of fraudulent tax claims for its operations in Indonesia.

"Wilmar's announcement says it all. Nowadays, people can claim anything," PPB chairman Datuk Oh Siew Nam said after the company's annual general meeting in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Also present were managing director Tan Gee Sooi and chief financial officer Leong Choy Ying.

Oh was responding to reports that some of Wilmar's Indonesian units are being investigated over questionable and fictitious value-added tax restitutions.

Wilmar told the Singapore stock exchange that its Indonesian units, collectively the biggest exporters of Indonesian palm oil, are and have at all times been complying with all relevant Indonesian tax laws.

The statement also revealed that Wilmar's Indonesian units collectively export more than US$3 billion (RM9.7 billion) worth of palm oil annually in 2007, 2008 and 2009. These companies received restitutions of varying amounts over the years, which correspond directly with the actual quantum of cost of export sales, consistent with the permitted amount claimable under Indonesian value-added tax laws.

Since the tax fraud allegation surfaced two days ago, PPB Group shares have fallen by 7 per cent to RM16.60, the most in 10 weeks.

Separately, Oh confirmed that the group sold a piece of land on Jalan Perak next to Wisma Hong Leong. "We sold it to a local company and we don't know who is behind it. The agent didn't tell us and we didn't bother to find out. We were offerred RM2,200 per sq, it was a good price with a guarantee. We're happy and the deal was made."

On the group's outlook, Tan said it will start to produce and sell sandwich loaves and buns from its new RM100 million factory in Port Klang. This new business will compete with other bread brands like Gardenia, High 5 and Mighty White.

Earlier this year, PPB Group completed the sale of its entire stake in two sugar units and land used for sugar cane cultivation to a unit of Felda for RM1.29 billion. Its first-quarter results will reflect a RM830 million gain from the sale.

One Response to PPB reiterates Wilmar's denial of false tax claims

  1. Hey there,

    I would like to give my comments on Wilmar. But, could you please tell me in short what is the whole problem on the tax.

    --Thanks--

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