Mubadala reports first half profits

Mubadala-owned Cleveland Clinic. (Supplied)
Updated 20 September 2018
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Mubadala reports first half profits

  • Plans to float at least 35 percent of Cepsa
  • Also setting up $400m venture fund

LONDON: Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company reported first half profit of 10.9 billion dirhams ($2.97 billion) as it expanded its global investment portfolio.
It did not provide comparative figures for the year-earlier period.
Mubadala Group CEO Khaldoon Khalifa Al-Mubarak, said: “In the first half of the year, we continued to deploy capital in new sectors and geographies, in line with our long-term strategy. We also monetized select assets at good valuations, to deliver financial returns.”
In a statement, the group said that historically reported figures such as revenue and net operating income were no longer relevant to its business model.
Mubadala said this week it planned to float at least 25 percent of Spain’s Cepsa by the end of 2018, in what would be the largest listing in a decade on the Madrid stock exchange.
Cepsa, which operates in the oil and gas industry, did not say how much the deal would be worth, but market sources said the listing could value the firm at around €10 billion.
Mubadala also this year announced plans to create a $400 million venture fund to invest in leading European technology companies. The fund will be managed by Mubadala Ventures, the venture capital arm of Mubadala with SoftBank Group as a strategic investor.
The Abu Dhabi investment group also announced the sale of its consortium’s majority interest in EMI Music Publishing to Sony Corporationfor about $4.75 billion.
Mubadala manages a worldwide portfolio worth $225 billion with assets in sectors such as aerospace, ICT, semiconductors, metals and mining, renewable energy, oil and gas, petrochemicals and finance.


Can a hungry Mali turn rice technology into ‘white gold’?

Updated 20 October 2018
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Can a hungry Mali turn rice technology into ‘white gold’?

  • Malians are cautiously turning to a controversial farming technique to adapt to the effects of climate change
  • Dubbed the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), the new method was pioneered in Madagascar in 1983

BAGUINEDA: When rice farmers started producing yields nine times larger than normal in the Malian desert near the famed town of Timbuktu a decade ago, a passerby could have mistaken the crop for another desert mirage.
Rather, it was the result of an engineering feat that has left experts in this impoverished nation in awe — but one that has yet to spread widely through Mali’s farming community.
“We must redouble efforts to get political leaders on board,” said Djiguiba Kouyaté, a coordinator in Mali for German development agency GIZ.
With hunger a constant menace, Malians are cautiously turning to a controversial farming technique to adapt to the effects of climate change.

 

Dubbed the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), the new method was pioneered in Madagascar in 1983. It involves planting fewer seeds of traditional rice varieties and taking care of them following a strict regime.
Seedlings are transplanted at a very young age and spaced widely. Soil is enriched with organic matter, and must be kept moist, though the system uses less water than traditional rice farming.
Up to 20 million farmers now use SRI in 61 countries, including in nearby Sierra Leone, Senegal and Ivory Coast, said Norman Uphoff, of the SRI International Network and Resources Center at Cornell University in the US.
But, despite its success, the technique has been embraced with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Uphoff said that is because it competes with the improved hybrid and inbred rice varieties that agricultural corporations sell.
For Faliry Boly, who heads a rice-growing association, the prospect of rice becoming a “white gold” for Mali should spur on authorities and farmers to adopt rice intensification.
The method could increase yields while also offering a more environmentally-friendly alternative, including by replacing chemical fertilizers with organic ones, he said.
He also pointed out that rice intensification naturally lends itself to Mali’s largely arid climate.

FACTOID

Up to 20 million farmers now use rice intensification in 61 countries, including in nearby Sierra Leone, Senegal and Ivory Coast.