Andrew Heng said that nothing is known of the value of 18 of the 49 companies, as these entities are currently exempted from filing audited financial statements to the Companies Commission of Malaysia.
Mahmud Abu Bekir's ex-wife Shahnaz Majid (pic), 50, had previously testified that Mahmud Abu Bekir has assets worth more than RM1 billion in Malaysia.She is also asking for half the assets owned by Mahmud Abu Bekir, including seven luxury cars, thousands of hectares of land in Sarawak, homes in countries abroad and shares in about 15 companies.
Heng, who was hired by Shahnaz to look into her ex-husband's financial status, was testifying in the trial where she is seeking some RM400 million as divorce settlement, including matrimonial property and “mutaah” (Islamic conciliatory payment).
When questioned by Shahnaz's lawyer Dr Rafie Mohd Shafie, Heng said that in the case of one of the exempted companies, checks revealed that it was constructing a bungalow on two tracts of land in Bukit Tunku, Kuala Lumpur, valued at RM18million.
"So since the defendant owns 50% of the company, his shareholding goes up by RM9 million," Heng said.
He added that the company also had a vehicle, an Audi Q5, listed under it and the value of the car was estimated at RM345,000.
This, he said, made Mahmud Abu Bekir's shareholding valued at RM172,500 for the car, adding that the values were derived from internet searches.
He said nothing else was known about the finances of the 18 companies.
"We don't have the audited accounts of the 18 companies. We just managed to find out about this one company.
"If we had information on all 18, then the total shareholding could be substantially different," Heng said.
He also said that of the 49 companies Mahmud Abu Bekir was involved in, 11 of them had not filed their financial statements to the CCM since 2011, and it was not known if these were also exempted private companies.
"They were exempted before, but we have not been able to trace the recent certificate of exemption," he added.
Heng said that the terms of contract between his firm Ferrier Hodgson MH Shd Bhd and Shahnaz included conducting company searches on Malaysian companies her ex-husband was involved in and running searches in the Sarawak Land office in respect to certain land titles.
The contract also outlined the need for the valuation firm to gather supporting documents as evidence to substantiate Mahmud Abu Bekir's shareholding and to prepare a report.
Heng said that in coming up with the value of Mahmud Abu Bekir's shares in the various companies, the total liabilities of the companies were taken into account before putting a value on his shareholding.
"We used the net tangible asset approach, where we looked at the total assets of the companies, minus the liabilities and intangible assets, to get the net value of the company.
"Then we look at the defendant's shareholding in each company and multiply it with the value of the company to get the value of his shares," Heng said.
Shahnaz, the sister of popular singer Datuk Sheila Majid, and Mahmud Abu Bekir married in January 1992 and have a 20-year-old son, Raden Murya. Mahmud Abu Bekir filed for divorce in May 2011.
The divorce settlement proceedings had exposed the purported wealth of the family of the Sarawak Chief Minister, Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.
When proceedings resumed in the afternoon, Heng told the court that Mahmud Abu Bekir's shares in four palm oil estates in Sarawak has an estimated value of between RM636 million and RM1.05 billion.
Heng, however, said that of the four companies, audited financial statements were not available for three of them.
"These three companies hold oil palm land in Sarawak, based on our land searches.
"The estimated value of the defendant's shareholding, which covers nearly 13,000ha of oil palm plantation is between RM296.85 million and RM492.22 million, he said, adding that the companies are Bella Magic Sdn Bhd, Essential Straits Sdn Bhd and Log Oak Promotions Sdn Bhd.
The chief minister's son also owns 59% of shares in a fourth company, Titanium Management Sdn Bhd, for which audited financial statements were available, Heng said.
The witness added that the company owned the Titanium Tower building in Kuching and 11,000 hectares of palm oil estate.
"The estimated value of his shares in Titanium Management is between RM339 million and RM563 million," Heng said.
"As such, his shareholding in these four companies, is valued between RM636 million and RM1.055 billion," he added.
During proceedings, Rafie told the court that his client (Shahnaz) had informed him that Mahmud Abu Bekir may have shareholding in 85 foreign companies overseas, in countries including but not limited to Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and the United States.
However when approached by reporters outside court for his comment on today's proceedings, Mahmud Abu Bekir denied the existence of the foreign companies.
"The 85 companies don't exist. Do you know anyone who owns 85 foreign companies?" he asked instead.
The chief minister's son also denied there was any palm oil estates.
Hearing before Judge Muhamad Abdul Karim Wahab continues on February 5. – January 22, 2013.
~ The Malaysian Insider