Abu Dhabi fund boosts food security with $800m Louis Dreyfus deal

Abu Dhabi fund boosts food security with $800m Louis Dreyfus deal
Louis Dreyfus (LDC), a 169-year-old family-owned group, is controlled by billionaire Margarita Louis-Dreyfus. (AFP)
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Updated 11 November 2020

Abu Dhabi fund boosts food security with $800m Louis Dreyfus deal

Abu Dhabi fund boosts food security with $800m Louis Dreyfus deal
  • ADQ to acquire a major stake in Louis Dreyfus (LDC) as part of an $800 million investment in the commodity trader
  • The deal comes as the coronavirus pandemic re-focuses attention on food security among Gulf states

LONDON: Abu Dhabi-based ADQ has agreed to acquire a major stake in Louis Dreyfus (LDC) as part of an $800 million investment in the commodity trader.
The deal comes as the coronavirus pandemic re-focuses attention on food security among Gulf states which rely heavily on imports.
It also opens up the 169-year-old family-owned group that is controlled by billionaire Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, to major outside investment for the first time.
As part of this transaction, Louis Dreyfus also signed a long-term supply deal with ADQ for the sale of agri-commodities to the UAE.
LDC is one of the big four global commodity trading houses, posting profits of $126 million in the first half of the year.
Upon completion of the transaction, a portion of its proceeds amounting to a minimum of $800 million will be invested into LDC, ADQ said in a statement on Wednesday.
The acquisition price was not disclosed.
“Food and agriculture is an attractive, core sector for ADQ to generate financial returns and strengthen the economic cluster locally,” said ADQ CEO Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi. “As one of the world’s leading agri-commodities and food companies, LDC represents a strategic investment opportunity for ADQ.”
This latest investment expands the Abu Dhabi investment group’s agricultural portfolio which includes the recently formed Silal that aims to boost local food production in the UAE and Agthia, one of the region’s biggest food and beverage producers.
Earlier this year, ADQ also agreed to acquire 50 percent of Al Dahra Holdings, a multinational agribusiness group specializing in animal feed and essential food commodities. 
“We are delighted to welcome ADQ to our shareholder group as long-term partners and investors, with a common vision for LDC’s future, and experience that will bring further value to the business and support the group’s ambition,” said company Margarita Louis-Dreyfus in a statement.


Egyptian minister hails reforms as public investment jumps 70%

Updated 42 min 54 sec ago

Egyptian minister hails reforms as public investment jumps 70%

Egyptian minister hails reforms as public investment jumps 70%
  • The rate of economic growth reached about 1.8 percent — less than the population growth rate
  • A plan to control population increase will begin in January 2021

CAIRO: The volume of public investment in Egypt grew by 70 percent in the 2020/2021 fiscal year, reaching 595 billion Egyptian pounds ($37.9 billion), Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala Al-Saeed has said.

In a speech at the Egypt Economic Summit 2020, she said that Egypt could become one of only three economies across the Middle East to achieve economic growth this year.

The growth followed reforms that helped make the Egyptian economy “more flexible” and “able to absorb external shocks,” she said.

Al-Saeed said Egypt faced great challenges that led to imbalances in the monetary, financial and external axes, which caused a decline in Egyptian economic indicators. The rate of economic growth reached about 1.8 percent — less than the population growth rate.

The minister added that a plan to control population increase will begin in January 2021, as Egypt’s population is expected to grow by 2.5 million annually and reach 130 million in 2030.

Al-Saeed said that achieving development requires sustained economic progress to overcome weak population growth and the challenges facing the Egyptian economy in light of political and economic changes and the coronavirus pandemic.

The challenge helped Egypt commit to reforms based on comprehensive planning and an ambitious vision for the future, in the form of Egypt’s Vision 2030 sustainable development strategy, the minister said.

Egypt’s implementation of reforms since November 2016 led to “overall stability” and “comprehensive growth.” This was reflected in positive indicators that the Egyptian economy saw before the coronavirus outbreak, she added.

The rate of economic growth was about 5.6 percent in the first half of the 2019/2020 fiscal year, and about 5 percent during the third quarter. There was an average growth of 5.4 percent in the first nine months of the year, before the coronavirus outbreak.

Al-Saeed said that international institutions had “positive expectations” regarding the Egyptian economy.

She referred to the results of the World Economic Outlook report issued by the International Monetary Fund in October 2020, in which the Fund raised its expectations for Egypt’s gross domestic product growth to 3.5 percent for the year, compared with a previous forecast of 2 percent in the June report.

If the prediction is realized, it will make Egypt among only three economies in the Middle East and Central Asia to achieve economic growth this year.