Africa the focus of banner London conference - By Colin Waugh
UAE-based food company Phoenix Group announced a $205m expansion of their rice business in Asia and Africa on Tuesday
The expansion into Mozambique, Benin and Ivory Coast and India is hoped to double the company’s turnover in the next 3-5 years, making them the world’s largest rice business by volume.
The $2bn company runs production, procurement, processing, merchandising, and wholesale and retail distribution through its supply chain and is already one of the top three international rice trading companies, with its flagship rice brand ‘Happy Family’.
Commenting on the development, Phoenix Group chairman Gaurav Dhawan, said the trade facility, arranged by a consortium led by Standard Chartered Bank, Singapore along with 6 other banks including First Abu Dhabi Bank, was initially over-subscribed and supported by the OPEC Fund for International. Development (OFID).
“The facility is targeted today at Mozambique, Benin and Ivory Coast as destinations and India as origin but can be expanded very easily across geographies (both origins and destinations) as well as other agricultural products and we will look to upsize the facility aligning with our growth,” he said.
OFID’s acting ADG Private Sector and Trade Finance Department, Tareq Al Nassar, said: “The trade facility supports two of OFID’s key objectives: improving food security and strengthening South-South trade, with the main beneficiary countries being in Africa.”
Standard Chartered, Head of Trade, ASEAN and South Asia, Saket Sarda, added:“Facilitating trade and driving commerce across our footprint in Asia and Africa is at the core of what we do as a leading international trade Bank. This transaction clearly demonstrates our capabilities and more importantly our relentless commitment to support our clients and their ecosystems of buyers and suppliers.”Source: Arabian Business