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Quek Leng Chan, Leong Kok Wah not getting lion’s share of bumper dividend, says EWI

Eco World International has refuted reports that Quek Leng Chan (left) and Leong Kok Wah will receive RM213.84 million and RM240.48 million respectively from its dividend payout of RM792 million.

PETALING JAYA: Eco World International Bhd (EWI) has clarified its bumper dividend payout of RM792 million, or 33 sen per share, will not be fully allocated to Hong Leong Group executive chairman Quek Leng Chan, and Eco World Development Group Bhd (EcoWorld Malaysia) deputy chairman Leong Kok Wah.

In a statement today, the group sought to clarify an article on the huge dividend payout published by The Edge Malaysia last Friday, which was subsequently picked up by other online portals and blogs.

The property developer claimed the article contained several “incorrect statements or inferences” about the amounts to be received by major shareholders of the company.

The three biggest shareholders mentioned were Eco World International founder Liew Kee Sin, Quek and Leong.

EWI said the first interim dividend amounting to RM792 million, announced last Thursday, will be paid to shareholders “who directly hold shares” in Eco World International as at the entitlement date.

It pointed out the inference that Quek will be entitled to RM213.84 million from the total dividend payout was incorrect as the dividend will be paid to GLL EWI (HK) Ltd, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Guocoland Ltd (GLL), which holds a 27% stake.

“While Quek has a deemed interest in Eco World International via GLL, he is not the sole shareholder of GLL, which is publicly-listed in Singapore. Hence, an inference that Quek is entitled to the entire sum of RM213.84 million is erroneous,” the group said.

Similarly, it said the statement that Leong is entitled to RM240.48 million of the total dividend was also incorrect.

It noted that 27% of the EWI shares attributed to Leong are owned by Eco World Capital (International) Sdn Bhd (EW Capital), a wholly-owned subsidiary of EcoWorld Malaysia.

With that, it said Leong will not receive the total amount of RM213.84 million of the dividends in his personal capacity. Instead, it will be paid to EW Capital as the direct shareholder owning the 27% stake.

Another 3.28% stake with a dividend entitlement of RM25.98 million that was attributed to Leong is owned by Sinarmas Harta Sdn Bhd.

Leong will only receive a dividend payout of RM660,000 from his personal shareholding of two million or 0.08% of EWI shares.

Liew Kee Sin’s payout not disputed

However, the group did not dispute the amount of dividend to be paid to Liew and his family, who jointly hold a 12.2% stake or 292.24 million shares, entitling them to RM96.44 million of the payout.

The dividend announcement follows the completion of the company’s capital reduction exercise on Aug 3.

The group narrowed its net loss to RM4.56 million for the second quarter ended April 30 (Q2 FY2023) compared with RM67.35 million a year earlier.

EcoWorld International was listed on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia in 2017. Its core business involves property development outside of Malaysia where it has 19 existing and upcoming projects in the UK and Australia.

As at 4.11pm, its shares were up 2.5 sen or 3.6% at 72 sen, giving it a market capitalisation of RM1.74 billion.

Source: FMT News

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