Durian dash

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This part is probably a bit murky. Securitizing a product and then promising a 10-15% annual yield, with the additional perk of having the "privilege" to buy discounted products from your own company...All these sound familiar?

His plan is for interested investors to buy a share in a Singapore-incorporated holding company for US$5,000 each; this company will in turn hold a Malaysia-incorporated company which will be 51 per cent-owned by the local partner.

Mr Tan estimates that investors will receive net returns of about 10-15 per cent a year. He has already taken an option to buy a 63-acre plantation in Raub, with the aim of buying it once enough money is raised.
The campaign, which is open to investors from all countries, will be launched in the next few months, ahead of the next durian season which starts in June. "It'll be nice to be ready for the next durian season so that the investor can take a trip down to Raub, eat durians and then decide to invest," he says.
But those hoping that a share in the company will give them a free lifetime supply of durians will be disappointed. Mr Tan says shareholders will have to buy durians from the company at the wholesale price, which currently stands at RM30 per kg. 

Durian dash

How investors are eyeing the world's most controversial fruit

MANY a bus has trundled up north across the Causeway, carrying Singaporeans in search of an unusual treasure: plentiful supply of the fruit with pungent yellow flesh inside a thorny chassis. Michael Syn, who heads the derivatives segment at the Singapore Exchange, has gone one step further. The 47-year-old four years ago bought a durian plantation in Johor with some friends, with the group of five ploughing in some S$2.5 million altogether.

With that, he was thrust into the world of durians - one that was, for a long time, a sleepy sector dominated by South-east Asian countries, but now increasingly disturbed by a dragon recently awoken to the fruit's charms: the Chinese consumer. Malaysia's durian exports to China have soared since the turn of this decade. From merely 40 tonnes in 2011, shipments of durians from Malaysia into China have skyrocketed to 368 tonnes worth US$4.34 million in 2016, United Nations data show.

The brisk trade came about after China's then-premier Wen Jiabao visited Malaysia in 2011 and sanctioned imports of Malaysian durians. Still, only the mao shan wang variety, also known as "Musang King" - which the current Chinese frenzy is all about - in frozen pulp form is allowed, and not the whole durian.


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