MENA Project Tracker — Oman plans for a new energy firm; Kuwait Integrated Petrochemical finalizing contracts for a $150m project

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India In-Focus — Reliance eyes building $6.5bn consumer goods business; Wheat ban to curb unregulated trade 

MUMBAI: India’s largest retailer Reliance will acquire dozens of small grocery and non-food brands as it targets building 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 to 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 and bigger retail outlets across the country, the sources added.

The consumer goods push under a vertical named Reliance Retail Consumer Brands will come on top of Ambani’s brick-and-mortar store network of more than 2,000 grocery outlets and ongoing expansion of “JioMart” e-commerce operations in India’s nearly $900 billion retail market, one of world’s biggest.

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

The total investment outlay planned by the company to acquire brands is not clear, but the second source said Reliance had set a goal to achieve $6.5 billion of annual sales from the business within five years.

“Reliance will become a house of brands. This is an inorganic play,” said the person.

Ban on wheat exports 

Indian officials, speaking just hours after the country banned wheat exports, said there was no dramatic fall in wheat output this year but unregulated exports had led to a rise in local prices.

“We don’t want wheat trade to happen in an unregulated manner 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 already issued letters of credit and to countries that request supplies “to meet their food security needs.”

Global buyers were banking on supplies from the world’s second-biggest wheat producer after exports from the Black Sea region plunged following Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine. Before the ban, India had aimed to ship a record 10 million tons this year.

Eros Investments partners with VARA

Eros Investments is planning to develop Web 3.0 and blockchain businesses, as a part of its partnership deal to operate under Dubai’s new virtual assets regulator, also known as VARA. 

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

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


With input from Reuters 

Noting that the news was copied from another site and all rights reserved to the original source.

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