Bahrain's Al Salam, Charoen to invest in agcltr

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Despite the food crisis, CPF's net profits nearly doubled in 2008

Reuters | Sun Jun 21, 2009

MANAMA, June 21 (Reuters) - Bahrain-based Islamic bank Al Salam said on Sunday it has signed an agreement with Thailand's agriculture and food company Charoen Pokphand Foods to jointly invest in agricultural businesses.

Gulf Arab countries are targeting investments in farm land and agricultural businesses in developing nations after rampant inflation last year highlighted their dependence on imports.

"Al Salam and Charoen Pokphand will jointly identify suitable agribusiness ventures that will generate attractive risk-adjusted returns while playing a proactive role in addressing food security in the region," the bank said in a statement.

The two companies will target agricultural sectors including livestock, staple food and fish farms and establish an integrated food firm, which will also invest in food packaging and distribution.

A number of Gulf states have expressed interest in livestock and rice farming in Thailand to secure food supplies, the consul of Thailand's commercial section in the United Arab Emirates said earlier this month.

(Reporting by Frederik Richter; Editing by Rupert Winchester)
Original source: Reuters
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