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Malaysia PM Rains Largesse on Farmers -- Market Talk

24 Jul 2017 12:34 am

0034 GMT - Malaysian PM Razak offers aid to local palm-oil farmers via cash handouts and debts waiver worth MYR1.6 billion ($373 million), offering a hint of an early election that is due by August 2018. Investment banks have said local equities could benefit from likely stimulus ahead of national elections. The farmers offered the aid, more commonly known as Felda settlers in Malaysia, are majority voters and command at least 25% of parliament's seats. Some farmers took loans to buy shares in Malaysia's state palm-oil firm Felda Global Ventures (5222.KU) in 2012's IPO. The loans will be waived and those who repaid will get cash, Najib says. Shares of Felda Global have plunged by nearly 2/3 since the company went public amid poor financial performance and more recently management and graft scandals. (yantoultra.ngui@wsj.com; @yantoultra)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 23, 2017 20:34 ET (00:34 GMT)

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