Felda Global flourishes in flotation

The Malaysian palm oil firm, Felda Global, surged 20 per cent in its trading debut in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, as investors cheered on the world's second-largest initial public offering (IPO) after Facebook's botched float and the company pledged stronger profits in the coming months.

The company raised $3.1bn (£2bn) in a politically charged listing that will see hundreds of thousands of plantation farmers and family members reap a windfall through IPO-related handouts and discounted shares, helping Prime Minister Najib Razak ahead of the election he must call by next March.

The state-owned Felda is the third-largest producer of palm oil, which is widely used in products ranging from pies, cakes, to soaps and cosmetics.

It is also used as a biofuel, with all diesel in Malaysia required to include 5 per cent palm oil.