Saudi investment firm buys Australian farmland, sheep

Sheep eat the stubble of a failed wheat crop at sunset on a farm near the town of West Wyalong, Australia. (Reuters)
Updated 04 April 2019
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Saudi investment firm buys Australian farmland, sheep

  • SALIC CEO Matthew Jansen: It is our first acquisition in Australia as well as our first investment in sheep production
  • Saudi Arabia began scaling back its domestic wheat growing program in 2008, planning to rely completely on imports by 2016 to save water

DUBAI: Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC), an arm of Saudi Arabia’s state-owned Public Investment Fund, said on Thursday it has made its first acquisition in Australia.

SALIC did not give a figure for the purchase of Baladjie Pty Ltd, an aggregation of over 200,000 hectares (494,200 acres) of farmland in Western Australia’s wheatbelt that also carries 40,000 head of Merino sheep.

“It is our first acquisition in Australia as well as our first investment in sheep production,” Matthew Jansen, SALIC CEO said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia began scaling back its domestic wheat growing program in 2008, planning to rely completely on imports by 2016 to save water.

SALIC’s agricultural investments include farmland, grain silos and terminals, as part of Saudi Arabia’s food security drive.


Alibaba head's remarks spark debate over China working hours

Updated 1 min 14 sec ago
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Alibaba head's remarks spark debate over China working hours

  • Jack Ma is one of China's richest men and his comments last week brought both condemnation and support as China's more mature economy enters a period of slower growth
BEIJING: Remarks by the head of Chinese online business giant Alibaba that young people should work 12-hour days, six days a week if they want financial success have prompted a public debate over work-life balance in the country.
Jack Ma is one of China’s richest men and his comments last week brought both condemnation and support as China’s more mature economy enters a period of slower growth.
Newspaper People’s Daily, the ruling Communist Party’s mouthpiece, issued an editorial, saying mandatory overtime reflects managerial arrogance and was also impractical and unfair to workers. Online complaints included blaming long work hours for a lower birth rate in the country.
Ma has responded to the criticism by saying work should be a joy and also include time for study, reflection and self-improvement.