Ferrero to stop buying palm oil from Malaysia’s Sime Darby over labor concerns

Ferrero to stop buying palm oil from Malaysia’s Sime Darby over labor concerns
Ferrero to stop buying palm oil from Malaysia’s Sime Darby over labor concerns. (File/Shutterstock)
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Updated 15 April 2022

Ferrero to stop buying palm oil from Malaysia’s Sime Darby over labor concerns

Ferrero to stop buying palm oil from Malaysia’s Sime Darby over labor concerns

KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 : Italian confectionary giant Ferrero said it will stop sourcing palm oil from Sime Darby Plantation after the United States found the Malaysian planter used forced labor, in a reputational blow for the palm producer and for Malaysia.
Labour practices across the Southeast Asian country have come under scrutiny in the past two years, with six companies including Sime Darby banned by US customs over forced labor allegations.
Palm oil, the most widely used vegetable oil, is a key ingredient in Ferrero Rocher chocolates and Nutella spread, giving the iconic products their smooth texture and shelf life.
“On 6th April, we have requested all our direct suppliers to stop supplying Ferrero with palm oil and palm kernel oil sourced indirectly from Sime Darby, until further notice,” Ferrero told Reuters by email.
“Ferrero will comply with the US Customs and Border Protection’s decision,” it said.
Although Ferrero buys relatively little of the edible oil from Sime Darby, its move — following similar halts by Cargill Inc, Hershey Co. and General Mills Inc. — could hurt Sime Darby’s standing as a leader in sustainably produced palm oil.
Sime Darby told Reuters it has taken steps in the area of human rights and that all its stakeholders who are committed to sustainability can be assured of its commitment and leadership in the industry. Ferrero is not a customer, it added.
“We are also in regular communication with all key stakeholders, particularly customers who have their own commitments,” it said.
Sime Darby’s shares were down 4 percent on Friday afternoon, weaker than the main Malaysian stock index, which was 0.3 percent lower.
“It’s very critical that Sime move fast to further alleviate any concern following the departure of some of these key customers,” said Ivy Ng, regional head of plantations research at CGS-CIMB Research, adding that other buyers could also suspend purchases as the labor concerns drag on.
Ferrero, responding to queries this week from Reuters about suppliers receiving its requests to stop buying from Sime Darby, said it does not buy directly from the Malaysian firm, which it said supplies 0.25 percent of its palm oil volumes.
 


Saudi Advanced Petrochemical’s profits down 37% as raw material costs bite

Saudi Advanced Petrochemical’s profits down 37% as raw material costs bite
Updated 13 sec ago

Saudi Advanced Petrochemical’s profits down 37% as raw material costs bite

Saudi Advanced Petrochemical’s profits down 37% as raw material costs bite

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Advanced Petrochemical Co. saw its profit decline by 37 percent during the first half of 2022, hit by higher raw material prices.

The Jubail-based company’s profit dropped to SR274 million ($73 million), compared to SR436 million for the same period a year earlier, according to a bourse filing.

The decline was propelled by a rise in propane and outsourced propylene prices by 51 and 20 percent, respectively, and a decrease in profit share from its South Korean unit SK Advanced Co. by SR75 million.

This was coupled with an increase of 174 percent in offshore logistics costs, despite a 24-percent higher sales volume.

Sales of the Saudi-listed petrochemical producer surged to SR1.68 billion during the six-month period.

In a separate announcement, Advanced Petrochemical said it will distribute a cash dividend of SR142.53 million at SR0.55 per share for the second quarter of the year on Sept. 18. 

 


TASI falls to its lowest level in 2022 as fear grips the market: Opening bell

TASI falls to its lowest level in 2022 as fear grips the market: Opening bell
Updated 16 min 41 sec ago

TASI falls to its lowest level in 2022 as fear grips the market: Opening bell

TASI falls to its lowest level in 2022 as fear grips the market: Opening bell

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's main index, TASI, fell 0.77 percent to 11,257, its lowest level at the opening bell in 2022 amid rising investor concerns of a possible global recession.


US food company Tyson to buy Tanmiah subsidiaries’ stakes for $70m

US food company Tyson to buy Tanmiah subsidiaries’ stakes for $70m
Updated 27 min 28 sec ago

US food company Tyson to buy Tanmiah subsidiaries’ stakes for $70m

US food company Tyson to buy Tanmiah subsidiaries’ stakes for $70m

RIYADH: Tyson International Holding Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary of New York-listed Tyson Foods, has reached an agreement to acquire equity stakes in two of Tanmiah Food Co.’s subsidiaries for SR262.6 million ($70 million).

Tyson will acquire 15 percent of shares in Agricultural Development Co. and 60 percent of shares in Supreme Foods Processing Co., according to a bourse filing.

In partnership with Tyson, Tanmiah will double its production capacity and develop new halal products for the international market, expanding its product portfolio and enhancing its supply chain and procurement processes.

The agreement with Tyson will also strengthen and boost the Tanmiah brand in the Gulf Cooperation Council and other regions.

With SR20 million in registered capital, Agricultural Development Co. rears and produces broilers, feed mills, and operates hatcheries. It also raises fresh chicken.

Supreme Food Processing Co. produces pre-prepared chicken and beef products. It has a registered capital of SR8.6 million.


Advanced Polyolefins secures $1.6bn loans for 3 plants at Jubail Industrial City

Advanced Polyolefins secures $1.6bn loans for 3 plants at Jubail Industrial City
Updated 06 July 2022

Advanced Polyolefins secures $1.6bn loans for 3 plants at Jubail Industrial City

Advanced Polyolefins secures $1.6bn loans for 3 plants at Jubail Industrial City

RIYADH: Advanced Polyolefins Industry Co., a unit of Saudi-listed Advanced Petrochemical, has secured loans worth SR6.1 billion ($1.6 billion) to finance the construction of three plants at Jubail Industrial City II in Saudi Arabia.

The Shariah-compliant facility deals are repayable in 22 installments until November 2035, while SR956 million of the amount is payable by May 2026, a bourse filing revealed.

The company said the proceeds will be used to set up three plants for propane dehydrogenation, polypropylene, and isopropanol, with a capacity to produce 843,000, 800,000, and 70,000 tons per annum, respectively.

Alinma Bank, Al Rajhi Banking and Investment Corp., Arab National Bank, and the Saudi National Bank were among the financing entities for the facilities. 


Saudi-listed shipping firm Bahri closes $1.04bn sukuk issuance

Saudi-listed shipping firm Bahri closes $1.04bn sukuk issuance
Updated 06 July 2022

Saudi-listed shipping firm Bahri closes $1.04bn sukuk issuance

Saudi-listed shipping firm Bahri closes $1.04bn sukuk issuance

RIYADH: National Shipping Co. of Saudi Arabia, better known as Bahri, has completed the issuance of SR3.9 billion ($1.04 billion) sukuk, denominated in Saudi Riyals and maturing in seven years.

The offering, led by Al Rajhi Capital, HSBC Saudi Arabia, and SNB Capital, started by mid-June, and the settlement was done on July 5, the firm said in a bourse filing.

The Saudi-listed company earlier said it will use proceeds to refinance the existing sukuk which will mature this month.

Bahri is a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and the Public Investment Fund, operating a fleet of 89 tankers and container ships that transport oil, petrochemicals, and other types of cargo.