Islamic Development Bank Group strengthens presence in Indonesia

Updated 05 January 2015
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Islamic Development Bank Group strengthens presence in Indonesia

Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group has opened the new Country Gateway Office in Indonesia.
The IDB Group decided to launch its Country Gateway Office in Indonesia, following the signing of the bank group’s host country agreement in February 2013.
Prof. Bambang Brodjonegoro, minister of finance of Indonesia, and Ahmed Mohamed Ali, president of the IDB Group, hosted the inauguration ceremony.
Indonesian ministers, ambassadors of IDB member countries, high-level government officials, private sector representatives, country representatives of international institutions and eminent personalities attended the event at Hotel Indonesia Kempinski, Jakarta.
In his speech, the president of the IDB Group expressed his appreciation to the government of Indonesia for facilitating the opening of the IDB’s Country Gateway Office in Jakarta.
He expressed his hope that the bank group’s office will strengthen ties and collaboration between the IDB and Indonesia. 
Leveraging on its key strengths, the IDB Group Country Gateway Office will serve as a platform for all entities of the IDB Group to effectively implement projects and programs, expand cooperation in Islamic financial products and services, trade and project financing, and technical and advisory services, both in public and private sectors.
The office will also result in more effective management of the IDB Group’s portfolio in Indonesia and for generating more business opportunities particularly in transportation, energy and public-private partnerships.
During his address, the finance minister said that the Indonesia Country Gateway Office will be the IDB Group’s second establishment after Turkey, and it constitutes a renewed commitment to Indonesia as one if its founding members.
The opening of the new office coincides with the start of the new government, with new initiatives and programs on how to deliver more prosperity to the people of Indonesia.
He was confident that the Islamic Development Bank Group will take advantage of this opportunity by enhancing its engagement with the new government and aligning its cooperation strategy with the government current development priorities.

Furthermore, he expressed his delight that the Bank has recruited a number of local staffs to support the operation of the office.
This approach is greatly appreciated by the government since it will open new opportunity for local talents to contribute actively in one of the most renowned Islamic financial institution in the world.
Prof. Bambang Brodjonegoro and Ahmad Mohamed Ali inaugurated the Country Gateway Office and also took the opportunity to visit the new office premises for cutting of the ribbon.
Located in the Office8 building, Sudirman Central Business District (SCBD), the IDB Country Gateway Office in Indonesia will have international and local staff representing all IDBG entities.
The office will be headed by Ibrahim Shoukry, resident representative of the IDB Group, who comes with vast exposure of the bank’s operational activities and with over 23 years of experience in the private sector.


Morocco boycott slows sales growth at Danone

Updated 17 October 2018
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Morocco boycott slows sales growth at Danone

  • Seeks to rebuild consumer trust in Morocco
  • Sales growth shows slowdown

PARIS: Slacker demand for baby food in China and a consumer boycott in Morocco slowed third-quarter sales growth at Danone, although the French food group said it was sticking to its earnings growth targets.
Danone said it was banking on cost savings and a push into lucrative, healthy eating trends to meet those goals, despite lower sales of infant formula in China and the broad boycott in Morocco launched earlier this year on social media against what protesters said were unfair prices set by large companies.
Chief Financial Officer Cecile Cabanis cautioned the slowdown in China would last several quarters while the Moroccan boycott would weigh on the second half of the year.
Danone, the world’s largest yoghurt maker with brands including Actimel and Activia, said third-quarter sales reached $7.1 billion, a like-for-like increase of 1.4 percent — slightly above analysts’ forecasts for 1.2 percent growth.
Nevertheless, this marked a slowdown from 3.3 percent growth in the second quarter and 4.9 percent in the first quarter, and Danone shares fell 2.8 percent in early trading.
“The main miss is on Specialized Nutrition where infant milk formula is down 20 percent in China in Q3 ... We were not expecting such a drop” said Oddo analyst Pierre Tegner.
Danone, however, kept its annual financial targets.
Growth had accelerated at its dairy and plant-based business in North America, where Danone is integrating organic food group WhiteWave, and its European dairy division was on the road toward stabilization, it said.
Danone, which is targeting an operating margin above 16 percent and like-for-like sales growth of 4-5 percent by 2020, reiterated its expectation for a double-digit rise in 2018 underlying earnings per share (EPS), excluding the impact of the sale of a stake in Japan’s Yakult.
Sales of Danone’s ‘Early Life Nutrition’ products in China fell 20 percent in the third quarter following a period of strong growth and amid signs of changes in market dynamics.
The sales of the China-focused infant formula products had grown by around 30 percent in the second quarter of 2018 and by over 50 percent in the third-quarter 2017.
In China, where Danone competes in the baby food market with Nestle and Reckitt Benckiser, there has been strong demand for baby formula products thanks to a sharp rise in birth rates tied to the end of China’s one-child policy, and the emergence of new cities and an affluent middle class.
The peak in birth rates, however, happened in 2016 and started slowing down in late 2017, leading Danone to caution that the Chinese market will progressively show more normal trends from the second half of 2018 onwards.
Danone’s indirect E-commerce infant formula sales had also benefited last year from China’s decision to delay regulation of cross-border e-commerce, which led to stocking up by traders.
Cabanis said that although there were fewer births in China, Danone continued to benefit from demand for its ultra-premium infant formula products such as Nutrilon and Aptamil.
Morocco, which counts for 2 percent of group sales, was another weak spot as a result of the consumer boycott.
In September, Danone announced measures in Morocco to regain consumers’ trust, including price cuts, but sales in Morocco were still down 35 percent in the third quarter.