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Focus on India – Reliance Plans to Build $6.5 Billion Consumer Goods Company; Wheat ban to curb unregulated trade

MUMBAI: India’s biggest retailer Reliance is to acquire dozens of smaller grocery and non-food brands as it aims to create its own $6.5 billion consumer goods business to challenge foreign giants like Unilever, Two sources familiar with the plan told Reuters.

Reliance, owned by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, plans to build a portfolio of 50-60 grocery, household and personal-care brands within six months and is hiring an army of distributors to take them to mom-and-pop stores. -pop and the biggest outlets across the country, the sources added.

The consumer goods push under a vertical named Reliance Retail Consumer Brands will add to Ambani’s brick-and-mortar store network of more than 2,000 grocery stores and the continued expansion of “JioMart” e-commerce operations in the market. nearly $900 billion Indian retailer, one of the largest in the world.

Reliance is in the final stages of negotiations with about 30 popular niche local consumer brands to acquire them outright or form joint venture partnerships for sales, the first source familiar with its business planning said.

The company’s planned total investment to acquire brands is unclear, but the second source said Reliance has set a goal of reaching $6.5 billion in the company’s annual sales of five years here.

“Reliance will become a house of brands. It’s an inorganic game,” the person said.

Wheat export ban

Indian officials, speaking just hours after the country banned wheat exports, said there had been no dramatic drop in wheat production this year, but unregulated exports had caused local prices to rise.

“We don’t want wheat trading to be done in an unregulated way or hoarding to happen,” a senior government official told reporters in New Delhi on Saturday.

The government said it would still allow exports backed by letters of credit already issued and to countries requesting supplies “to meet their food security needs”.

Global buyers were banking on supplies from the world’s second-largest wheat producer after exports from the Black Sea region plummeted following Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine. Before the ban, India was aiming to ship a record 10 million tonnes this year.

Eros Investments partners with VARA

Eros Investments plans to develop web 3.0 and blockchain businesses, as part of its partnership agreement to operate under Dubai’s new virtual assets regulator, also known as VARA.

Dubai, the trading hub in the Middle East, formed the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority in March to bring companies that deal in cryptocurrencies under its purview.

With this new partnership, Eros Investments also aims to launch an accelerator fund to support more than 100 startups by 2025, which will also be regulated by VARA.

With contributions from Reuters