Troubled Bumi Indonesian arm in $600m loss

BUMI co-founder Nat Rothschild yesterday slammed the results of estranged Indonesian arm Bumi Resources as “not credible”, after it plunged to a $632m (£391m) loss over the nine months to September.

Over the same period last year, the miner booked a net profit of $176m.

The Indonesian coal miner, which has been at the heart of a bitter dispute with its parent company Bumi, was hit by net losses on derivatives of more than $422m.

Meanwhile, Bumi Resources – also known as PT Bumi – said operating profit fell to $312m, down from $780m over the same period in 2011.

Financier Rothschild, who co-founded Bumi as cash shell Vallar back in 2010, questioned why the derivatives losses were so high.

“Why should a simple coal mining company experience such swings (in profitability) due to ‘book losses’? It’s simply not credible,” he said.

Bumi Resources director and corporate secretary, Dileep Srivastava, said the derivatives and foreign exchange losses were paper losses.

“There’s no cash impact at all,” he told Reuters in a telephone interview from Dubai. “These are all non-cash and tax-neutral because we are adapting to new accounting principles that we are adopting.”

The relationship between the powerful Bakrie family – who brought in the Indonesian assets – and Rothschild soured soon after Bumi was listed in London. It culminated in September when City law firm Macfarlanes launched an investigation into alleged financial wrongdoing at Bumi Resources.

After the review, the Bumi board said it would move to unwind the relationship between the two, and separate the Indonesian assets from their London-listed parent.

The Bakrie family and Bumi chairman Samin Tan made no comment.