Be­lieves ex­po­sure in other sec­tors healthy in case of any cri­sis as cur­rent port­fo­lio to skewed

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - RACHNA LAL SUVA Feedback: rach­nal@fi­jisun.com.fj

Fi­jian Hold­ings Group is look­ing to in­crease its ex­po­sure in other sec­tors to di­ver­sify its ex­ist­ing port­fo­lio. FHL Group chief ex­ec­u­tive, Nouzab Fa­reed, said at this stage, their port­fo­lio is more skewed to­wards tourism, finance and re­tail­ing. Mr Fa­reed made th­ese com­ments as the FHL Group held its an­nual gen­eral meet­ing yes­ter­day at the Grand Pa­cific Ho­tel in Suva. “So we are look­ing at ways and means of di­lut­ing this ex­po­sure and in­creas­ing our ex­po­sure to new sec­tors,” he said. “The rea­son be­ing a good port­fo­lio should have good di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion.

“So right now FHL is well-di­ver­si­fied – we are into prop­erty, man­u­fac­tur­ing, build­ing and con­struc­tion, me­dia, re­tail­ing, tourism, finance. “But at the same time, tourism, finance and re­tail­ing is al­most ac­count­ing to more than 60 per cent. We want none of the sec­tors should be more than 20 per cent.”

Mr Fa­reed said this will be their safe­guard in case of cri­sis. “For ex­am­ple there can be a tsunami, a fail­ure of fi­nan­cial mar­ket glob­ally, there can be is­sue with dis­pos­able in­come and so we will still be safe,” he said.

“The port­fo­lio is fine but it is bet­ter to in­crease our ex­po­sure.”

High rate of suc­cess Mr Fa­reed told share­hold­ers that to date – for the past 32 years of FHL’s ex­is­tence, FHL has made in­vest­ments in 49 com­pa­nies.

He said out of 49, 29 com­pa­nies are still ac­tive and to date, they have di­vested 20. “We are very happy to say only four com­pa­nies have failed. So that ba­si­cally means, 92 per cent suc­cess rate. I wish FHL should con­tinue that trend. “We have to be very care­ful – we made big blun­ders with FHL lo­gis­tics and our PNG op­er­a­tions. But now we are lucky we are out of it.”

FHL’s cur­rent group as­set stands at $475 mil­lion but Mr Fa­reed said they believe within the next two to three years, this will reach $600 mil­lion. When Mr Fa­reed took over the chief ex­ec­u­tive po­si­tion in 2011, the in­vest­ment port­fo­lio for the com­pany was be­low $150 mil­lion. And now, Mr Fa­reed said the in­vest­ment port­fo­lio of FHL Group has reached $257 mil­lion.

And per­haps look­ing at the healthy fi­nan­cials, was the rea­son Mr Fa­reed’s con­tract as the Group chief ex­ec­u­tive has been re­newed for an­other three years.

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