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Halal Industry
The world’s most consumed edible oil Is facing a supply crunch

Published 25 Oct,2021 via Bloomberg Markets - Palm oil production in Malaysia is on course for its weakest showing in five years as planters grapple with the worst-ever labor shortage in the second-biggest grower, and the low yields are likely to last through March.

The country’s output may slide below 18 million tons this year, according to Nageeb Wahab, chief executive at the Malaysian Palm Oil Association, a growers’ group that represents 40% of palm plantations by area. That’s a drop of at least 6% from last year and the lowest annual volume since 2016.

Palm, the most consumed edible oil, has been a leading driver of this year’s stunning rally in global vegetable oil markets. Lower supplies in Malaysia and a crop disaster in Canada, the top grower of canola, have coincided with pent-up demand as economies reopen. Palm oil has repeatedly notched fresh records, while canola climbed to an all-time high and soyoil hit a 13-year peak in May.

“Even before the pandemic we were already short of workers -- mainly harvesters -- but it was never this bad,” Nageeb said by phone from Kuala Lumpur. “The shortage is becoming worse month by month. This is a historic crunch of workers and it’s causing a multi-year shortfall in production.”

Yields will taper down toward the year-end and will likely remain weak in the first quarter of 2022, Nageeb said. Production may improve in the second quarter, but on the condition that harvesters -- including the 32,000 foreign workers the government had approved -- are allowed to enter the country.

Moreover, the lack of skilled harvesters on estates have left fresh fruit bunches rotting on trees, preventing farmers from capitalizing on palm’s record rally. It also means that they’ve “missed the boat” on the crop’s high production months that usually run from August to October, Nageeb said.

“We never had that peak production this year because of the high crop losses,” Nageeb said. The industry is losing around 20%-30% of potential production this year and will miss out on about 20 billion ringgit ($4.8 billion) in revenue, or about double the amount last year.

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has offered a glimmer of hope on the labor shortage, saying Friday that the country will allow entry of fully-vaccinated migrant workers into the plantation industry on a case-by-case basis, although the quota and arrival dates have not been decided.

The volatile mix of production issues, either because of the weather or coronavirus restrictions, and resurgent global demand mean the industry is in the midst of unprecedented times. “We’re in uncharted waters because of historical high prices and price volatility,” said Marcello Cultrera, an institutional sales manager and broker at Phillip Futures in Kuala Lumpur.

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Halal Industry
Think everything’s expensive now? Wait until you see what’s next

Published 22 Oct,2021 via Bloomberg Markets - Consumers around the world are about to get socked with even higher prices on everyday items, companies from food giant Unilever Plc to lubricant maker WD-40 Co. warned this week as they grapple with supply difficulties.

The maker of Dove soap and Magnum ice-cream bars jacked up prices by more than 4% on average last quarter, the biggest jump since 2012, and signaled elevated pricing will continue into next year. A similar refrain came from Nestle SA, Procter & Gamble Co. and Danone SA, whose products dominate supermarket aisles and kitchen cupboards.

“We’re in for at least another 12 months of inflationary pressures,” Unilever CEO Alan Jope said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “We are in a once-in-two-decades inflationary environment.”

Companies are facing a dire mix of supply-chain challenges, as well as higher costs for energy, raw materials, packaging and shipping. While most consumer-goods makers reporting results this week expressed confidence that they’ll be able to limit the long-term hit to profitability, that means the pain passes to consumers, upping the squeeze on pockets as Christmas approaches.

In the U.S., inflation has accelerated rapidly to the strongest since 2008. Across developed economies, the post-pandemic supply-demand imbalances have pushed the rate above 4% for only the second time in the past two decades.

The return of pricing power marks a sea change in the global economy and poses a new challenge for central bankers after years of undershooting inflation targets. They’re trying to figure out whether they should quicken the removal of stimulus from pandemic-hobbled economies, or stand pat because the price spikes are temporary.

“This is a story that’s consistent across the world,” said Jennifer Lee, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets. “It’s just something consumers have to resign themselves to right now.”

Companies typically raise prices gradually, which is why the start of an inflationary period usually damages profitability the most. If they pass on cost increases too quickly, shoppers will shift to cheaper products from competitors or put off purchases. Some are also locked into contracts, creating a delay in households feeling the pinch.

“You can’t pass on increases from one day to another,” Nestle CEO Mark Schneider said on Bloomberg TV this week. “But now that action is underway.”

Nestle’s overall pricing rose 2.1% in the third quarter, the fastest in at least five years.

Consumers in emerging markets have so far faced the biggest inflation, as seen in Nestle’s results. The Swiss food giant, which makes Nespresso coffee and DiGiorno pizzas, raised pricing in such countries by 2.6% in the first nine months of the year, three times the rate of developed markets. Schneider expects margins to drop this year given the time lag required to pass on higher costs. Then they should resume improving in 2022.

“What we see from the inflation front is that the situation is going to get worse and then of course we’re working on pricing to make up most of that,” Schneider said.

Danone has also indicated that shoppers in Europe and the U.S. won’t escape the squeeze. It expects costs to rise about 9% in the second half of the year. “We could see even higher inflation rates next year,” Chief Financial Officer Juergen Esser said on a conference call.

P&G, the maker of Downy fabric softener and Puffs facial tissues, expects $2.3 billion in expenses this fiscal year from elevated commodity and freight costs. It’s increased prices on numerous products and says the situation will continue to “evolve.”

The Federal Reserve said in a report on the U.S. economy this week that many firms are showing a “greater ability to pass along cost increases to customers amid strong demand.”

One measure of U.S. inflation expectations has surged to its highest since 2005 -- a signal that financial markets are losing faith in the idea of “transitory” inflation. In the U.K., price growth is heading for a rate that’s more than double the BOE’s target.

British consumers are particularly exposed as Brexit magnifies the challenges. The country’s hospitality sector is short about 500,000 workers and is facing cost inflation of as much as 18%, according to the Food and Drink Federation. Wages for truckers are surging as transporting goods becomes a nightmare for U.K. grocers.

The price pressure isn’t isolated to everyday items. Used-car buyers in the U.K. are spending about a quarter more than a year ago as surging demand clashes with low availability, according to Auto Trader Group Plc. It said 17% of vehicles less than a year old are more expensive than new equivalents.

Jay Rembolt, CFO of WD-40, the San Diego-based maker of industrial lubricants and cleaners, said on a conference call that the company is experiencing “significant increases” in transportation costs and fees from suppliers. It’s raising prices in response.

“We see prices staying elevated until the middle of next year before we start seeing some relief on the supply-chain front,” said Lee at BMO. “It’s a big struggle to work itself out.”

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Halal Industry
Jordan ranks 38th on Global Hunger Index

Published 21 Oct,2021 via The Jordan Times - Jordan ranks 38th on the Global Hunger Index, with a low level of hunger in the Kingdom, according to the 2021 Global Hunger Index (GHI) report.

The GHI releases annual reports to raise awareness and understanding about the struggle against hunger. A total of 139 countries were assessed for the 2021 report and the data was collected from 2013-2021, according to the GHI website.

According to the index, almost 10 per cent of Jordanians have health conditions as a result of nutritional deficiency.

The report added that the Kingdom has a 1.6 per cent mortality rate for children under five years old, reflecting a mix of inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments.

The rate of stunted growth in children under five years old in Jordan stands at 7.5 per cent, which, according to the GHI, demonstrates chronic under-nutrition.

“Jordan is considered a food secure country with 6 per cent of the population receiving some form of assistance from the World Food Programme (WFP),” according to the WFP website.

Although Jordan holds a secure GHI score of 8.3, the Kingdom faces major challenges; including a lack of agricultural recourses, limited agricultural land and water scarcity, as well as a growing number of refugees, the WFP website states.

According to data from the Department of Statistics (DoS), 15.7 per cent of Jordanians are “poor”, yet only 0.12 per cent of Jordanians are considered hungry due to poverty.

As for the Arab region, Somalia’s score indicated “alarming” rates of hunger, alongside Syria, South Sudan and Yemen.

The level of hunger in Jordan has decreased by 23.1 per cent since 2000, according to the GHI.

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Halal Industry
Bangladesh's one-stop service point for halal certification

Published 19 Oct,2021 via The Financial Express–In September 2021, Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) added the provision of halal certification to the BSTI Regulations, 1989. This will allow BSTI to issue halal certificates for processed products, and in particular, processed food. The initial certificates will cover three years after which renewal will become necessary. Already more than 20 food exporters from Bangladesh have applied for BSTI's halal certificates.

Arrival of a new halal certificate issuing authority is expected to give the much-needed boost to the exportable halal items (mainly halal food) from Bangladesh. The major issue that hindered Bangladesh from tapping into the global halal market concerned certificates. There was a lack of a dedicted authority issuing halal certificates for exports; Islamic Foundation remained the sole issuer before BSTI entered the scene. With a new issuer, surely the task and responsibilities could now be shared.

As per the State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2020/21, the size of halal food market had reached $1.17 trillion in 2019. It is expected to grow at 3.5 per cent per year to 1.38 trillion by 2024. With the increase in the global Muslim population, which is expected to grow twice as fast as the global population and reach 3.0 billion by 2060, the halal food market is also expected to grow further. Halal food is also gaining popularity among the non-Muslim community owing to its strict hygiene and lower contamination levels.

Bangladesh has been exporting halal items for some time now. During FY 2020-21, the country exported halal products worth about $1 billion, 70 per cent of which went to Muslimmajority countries. Notable companies to have received the halal certificates include Square, PRAN, ACI, Bengal Meat, Bashundhara, and Nestle Bangladesh. In fact, the majority of the companies from Bangladesh that have obtained hala certificates are engaged in the production and marketing of food products. The ones mentioned here had received the certificates from the Islamic Foundation, the only halal certificate issuer until now.

The acceptance of one country's halal certificates by another has often been observed to be difficult. This increases the cost and time involved. With two certificate issuers in the country now, we must look forward to a certificate that is globally acceptable. Policies should be framed to ensure that this high-quality certificate becomes a reality, thereby allowing Bangladesh to claim a greater share in the halal food market.

In case of exporting halal meat in particular, the biggest challenges concern compliance related to cattle rearing in disease-free locations and the processes involved in the pre-and post-slaughter stages. Certifying that the whole process complied with the required conditions involve strict monitoring and control, which is challenging indeed.

If we could overcome this hurdle and abide by the required standard, it would open new doors for halal meat export. As both Muslim and non-Muslim countries are witnessing an increase in demand of halal food, Bangladesh has a strong possibility of gaining ground there. The agriculture and food sector is the second-highest export earner of the country, and it stands to gain tremendously if this works. At the same time, we must also not overlook the domestic halal consumer market of $107 billion, which happens to be the second biggest market globally after Indonesia.

After the pandemic, especially with the graduate from the Least Developed Country (LDC) category and subsequent loss of preferential market access in the European Union (EU), Bangladesh should target both product and market diversification. Therefore, export of halal food must be prioritised. The whole process will involve successful coordination among multiple stakeholders like ministries, Islamic Foundation, BSTI, Food Safety Authority, and many others. At the same time, although BSTI is known for its association with international standards organisations, we must strive to benchmark ourselves with the top halal standard checking laboratories like those from Thailand and Malaysia. It is time to think about establishing a one-stop service point for halal certification. We hope and look forward to a halal certificate that is accepted by all, especially the Middle-East and Muslim-majority countries. That could well be the catalyst the country's processed food export needs.


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Halal Industry
Pakistan halves GST, customs duty to reduce edible oil price

Published 19 Oct,2021 via Dawn - After a gap of almost one month, the government on Monday again decided to cut general sales tax and customs duty by half and abolish two per cent additional customs duty on edible oil to reduce its price by Rs45-50 per kg and introduce a major targeted subsidy programme in a couple of days.

“We have decided to reduce its [edible oil] price by Rs45-50 per kg by reducing GST from 17 to 8.5pc, customs duty from Rs10,000 per tonne to Rs5,000 and abolish 2pc additional customs duty to provide relief [to the people],” Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar said at a hurriedly called news conference.

He said the relief in overall inflationary trend was not imminent over the next three to four months, adding that there were different forecasts about a decline in prices, but “this may not be visible in one-two months”.

Minister sees no relief in overall inflationary trend over next three-four months; PM to announce major targeted subsidy programme in a couple of days

Prices would come down over the next few months, between April and June next year, he added.

Likewise, Mr Umar said, the prime minister would announce a major targeted subsidy scheme for the majority people in a couple of days. Asked about the timing of reduction in taxes and duties on edible oil, he said it would be notified soon after the return of Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin from his visit abroad.

Mr Umar is the third cabinet member to have announced measures for reduction in edible oil price without actual relief. On Sept 21, Shaukat Tarin had also announced Rs45-50 per litre reduction in edible oil price through adjustments in tax rates. When asked when the prices would drop, PM’s special assistant Iqbal Cheema had said the same day that prices would immediately come down as orders had already been issued.

Responding to a question as to why wheat prices were not going down despite record production, Asad Umar said not only wheat output was the highest ever but maize also had a record production and rice production was the second highest ever, but it had to be kept in mind that the government decided to increase wheat price by Rs400 to Rs1,800 per 40kg to support farmers.

He said the prime minister had two choices — either to pay higher prices to farmers in Ukraine or any other country — and he decided to support the local farmers. This added about Rs1 trillion to the income of the farming community which also had positive spillover impact on other fast-moving capital goods.

Mr Umar said the prime minister would be announcing in a day or two a targeted subsidy scheme for the people whose household budgets had been impacted by the unprecedented global price hike. He said there was no doubt inflationary pressures were impacting people but the entire world was passing through an unprecedented and extraordinary period of extremely high commodity prices.

The minister claimed that the prices of petroleum products and other commodities were still low in Pakistan compared to other regional countries as the government kept on reducing taxes as the prices went up. Responding to a comment that petroleum price comparison with regional countries should be made on the basis of their higher per capita income, he said the poverty rate in India and Bangladesh was far higher than Pakistan and this meant purchasing power in Pakistan was better.

Mr Umar said that according to the World Bank, crude oil prices went up by 81pc in one year since September 2020, while petrol price in Pakistan increased by only 17pc. Similarly, the price of liquefied natural gas (LNG) increased by 135pc, while it increased by only 64pc in Pakistan during that period.

He said that since Pakistan’s gas mix comprised two-third domestic contribution, its prices remained unchanged, hence the average gas price increased by only 16pc.

Similarly, the minister said cooking oil price rose by 48pc in the international market and 38pc in Pakistan, sugar price surged by 53pc internationally and 15pc in Pakistan, urea fertiliser price increased by 67pc in the international market and 28pc in Pakistan.

He conceded that the prices of essential commodities were comparatively low in Pakistan but still a significant hike had been witnessed that badly impacted the purchasing power of the common man.

Replying to a question, the minister said the government had taken action against various mafias and cartels, but since cases were pending in court, the government was helpless in punishing the culprits till the conclusion of cases.

He declined to comment on the government’s talks with the International Monetary Fund, saying he was not directly or indirectly involved in the process. He said he was not aware as to how much windfall would be earned by oil companies after the recent major increase in prices of petroleum products.Copyright

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Halal Industry
Nigerians seek Fed Govt’s intervention over rising food, cooking gas prices

Published 18 Oct,2021 via The Nation - Nigerians have sought Federal Government’s intervention in the increasing cost of food items and cooking gas.

They said government should stem the rising cost of the items through proper economic recovery plan and implementation.

The respondents noted that Nigerians need to assist government in minimising the excesses of middlemen and market associations in hiking the prices of commodities.

Residents of the Southsouth, in particular, identified the major factors contributing to cooking gas price hike to include lack of functional refineries and off-takers for gas distribution.

On prices of food items, they identified market forces, insecurity, farmer/headers clashes, insurgency, banditry, poor storage facilities and COVID-19 outbreak as causes of food price hike in the country.

Although the analysts expressed appreciation for the current government’s efforts at solving the problem, they advised that the intervention should be urgent as food is one of the basic necessities of life.

A civil servant in Asaba, the Delta State capital, Mr. Vincent Adeoye, said: “Our challenge has become double in the sense that the cost of food items is high, likewise that of cooking gas.”

Also, Mrs. Deborah Diai, a civil servant, said she had resorted to using charcoal for cooking since “the price of domestic gas is now within the reach of the rich”.

The Chairman of Ika Liquified Petroleum Gas Dealers Association, Mr. Onyeka Eze, said a kilogramme of gas sold for between N300 and N320 had gone up to N650.

In Rivers State, Mr. Livingston Wechie, a civil rights crusader, urged the government to tackle the situation.

President of Etche Farmers’ Cooperative Union, Mr. Godwin Akandu, urged government to reinvigorate the economy by ensuring direct funding of farmers and strengthening security.

Also, a Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) mini-tank farm operator, Mr. Sunil Umar, attributed the current hike in prices of cooking gas to lack of functional refineries.

Operations Controller of the Department Petroleum Resources (DPR) in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, Mr. Victor Ohwodiasa, attributed the increase to deregulation of the sector and market forces.

A housewife in Uyo, Mrs. Glory Inyang, said the high cost of cooking gas had affected the feeding allowance given to her by her husband.

Another housewife, Mrs. Margaret Joseph, regretted that both the cooking gas and food items had become exorbitant at the same time, causing lot a lot of hardship to Nigerians.

The Edo State Chairman of the Grassroots Farmers Association of Niger Delta, Chief Emmanuel Odigie, identified insecurity, activities of market associations and bad roads as reasons for high cost of foodstuffs.

Agricultural Extension Officer at the Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI) in Sapele, Delta State, Dr. Samuel Agoda, attributed the hike in prices of food to post harvest losses experienced by farmers.

Also, some residents in the Northeast have decried the soaring prices of food items and LPG in the region.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that prices of food items and LPG otherwise called cooking gas have shot up by 30 per cent in the past few weeks in markets across the region.

A NAN survey in Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Dutse and Gombe states showed that prices of grain, such as rice, maize and beans, indicated galloping increase, a trend which exposed residents to hardship while most families resorted to firewood and charcoal due to exorbitant gas prices.

A check at Yola (Adamawa) and Wunti Market in Bauchi, showed that a 100 kilogramme bag of local variety rice was sold at N47,500; maize N22,000, beans N41,500 wheat N35,500, as against its old prices of N32,500; N18,000, N35,500 and 26,500, respectively.

A five litre gallon of vegetable oil was selling at N6,000 as against its old price of N4,500, while the same quantity of palm oil sold for N5,000 as against N3,000.

Beef also indicated similar increase in prices as one kilogramme sold for N2,500 as against its old price of N1,500.

Similarly, checks at various LPG sale outlets showed the product was selling at different prices ranging between N600 and N650 per kg while 12 kg cylinder of the product costs N7,200 as against its previous prices of N350 and N4,200, respectively.

Some of the residents told NAN in separate interviews that the hikes were caused by the activities of middlemen and advocated price controls to regulate prices to protect consumers from exploitation.

Alhaji Musa Arab, a rice farmer in Gombe, blamed the hike in prices of food items to the activities of middlemen, dry spell and poor harvest occasioned by the climate change.

Arab identified activities of the middlemen as the major obstacle in the agricultural value chain, adding that a lot of panic buying was ongoing in farming communities in the region

“The middlemen wait for the farmers to cultivate their crops, they buy it and hoard. They are now buying grains massively.

“Middlemen are the richest persons in the agriculture value chain, government should re-introduce marketing board else they would continue to inflict pains on Nigerians.’’

Abubakar Sadiq, a resident of Gombe, decried the high cost of food items, adding that the trend was making it difficult to most husbands to meet their household responsibilities.

Sadiq, a smallholder farmer, said that the cost of farming also resulted to the hike in grain prices, adding that fertilisers and chemicals were expensive.

More so, Alhaji Audu Sabo, Chairman, Maize Growers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (MGPMAN), Bauchi State chapter, attributed the hike in prices of grain to security challenges and effects of COVID-19 pandemic.

“The security challenge is affecting food production with negative consequence on prices, and also the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy compounded the problem.

“Another problem is the structural imbalance in ensuring proper implementation of the agricultural interventions to mitigate the impact of the pandemic in the sector.

“This affected prices of food commodities in a bad way,” Sabo said.

Dr. Salihu Jahun, Agricultural Economist, College of Agriculture, Bauchi, who corroborated earlier opinion urged government at all levels to adopt proactive measures to ensure steady supply of food items to the markets.

“The hike in prices raised a major concern that calls for urgent regulatory measures to enhance food security.

“Government at all levels should create more enabling environment to encourage food production to meet the demand of the growing population,” he said.

Mr. Iliya Abarshi, Coordinator, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, (FMARD) in Bauchi State, said that the ministry had implemented various interventions to encourage food production.

Abarshi said that the ministry distributed inputs to smallholder farmers during the 2021 cropping season under its farmer support service scheme.

“The ministry is working to avoid losses at harvest so as to have a backup storage to avert food scarcity.” he said.

According to him, the Federal Government is providing loans and agricultural subsidy to assist farmers and encourage productivity.

On cooking gas, Alhaji Ibrahim Jada and Ishaq Adamu, some of the LPG dealers in Adamawa and Bauchi, attributed the hike in prices of the product to high Foreign Exchange, increased in the Value Added Tax (VAT) and 7.5 import charges.

They said LPG prices are pegged on depot prices, adding that about 90 per cent of the product were being imported into the country.

“Between 80 and 90 per cent of LNG products are imported into the country and the price is determine by FOREX.

“The situation drastically reduced patronage and the number of LPG consumers,” Jada said.

Adamu said that he spent about N12 million on procurement of LPG, adding that a one kilogramme of the product costs between n450 and N500.

However, Adamu Shitu, the Proprietor, Amana Gas Plant in Dutse, Jigawa, attributed the hike in gas prices to high cost of transportation.

Also, Iliyasu Abdullahi, the Operation Controller, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Bauchi, attributed the high cost of the product to the removal of subsidy on petroleum products and the new VAT policy.

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Halal Industry
Abu Dhabi fund Mubadala Capital buys major Taco Bell franchisee

Published 14 Oct,2021 via Bloomberg Markets - A unit of Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Co. acquired one of the largest Taco Bell Corp. franchisees in the U.S., underscoring the $243 billion sovereign wealth fund’s growing appetite for private equity deals.

Mubadala Capital, the fund’s asset management arm, bought K-Mac Holdings Corp. from Lee Equity Partners Opportunities Fund, according to a statement on Thursday. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. K-Mac operates some 300 fast-food Taco Bell outlets that are primarily located in the country’s Midwest and South.

The deal reflects Mubadala Capital’s foray into the food and beverage sector, where it invested about $1.8 billion in the past seven years alone. It also underlines the buyout division’s U.S. focus, a destination for about 80% of its capital, said Adib Martin Mattar, who heads private equity at Mubadala Capital.

“It’s still the world’s biggest market when it comes to doing private equity deals and finding investments,” Mattar said.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. advised Mubadala Capital on the K-Mac transaction. It represents another success for the U.S. bank in Abu Dhabi, where it wasn’t welcome following the fallout from its role in the 1MDB corruption scandal. Bank of America Corp. and North Point advised the sellers.

Setting Precedent

In a rare move for a wealth fund, Mubadala Capital became the first such institution to manage third-party money. It’s now beefing up its presence outside Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, in London and New York, where it sees most future opportunities, according to Mattar.

Sovereign funds in the Gulf region usually deploy surplus government revenue to invest abroad and diversify the local economy. Mubadala Capital now has $9 billion in assets under management and besides private equity also manages two early-stage venture funds, a public equities fund and another in Brazil focused on special situations.

Other sovereign investors are also increasingly active in the private equity sector. The UAE capital’s largest wealth fund, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, recently said it raised its target allocation range for private equity. Its buyout division completed a record 24 investments last year.

Biggest Abu Dhabi Wealth Fund Expands Foray Into Private Markets

Mubadala Capital recently completed raising its third fund at $1.6 billion in capital, including $500 million from its parent and a large commitment from BlackRock Inc., as well as other global institutional investors.

Other backers include sovereign funds, U.S. pension funds, college endowments and European insurers, Mattar said. Since almost 90% of the latest fund has been deployed, Mubadala Capital is considering a fourth fund of around $2.5 billion, he said.

‘Good Deals’

“That’s part of our business, to continuously raise capital and find good deals for investors,” Mattar said. Most of Mubadala Capital’s investments are “purely done on a financial returns-only basis,” he said.

Exceptions include Witherslack, a U.K. provider of special needs education schools and children’s care homes. Mubadala Capital took a majority stake in the business this year and plans to open facilities across the Middle East.

Another example is REEF Technology, a SoftBank Group Corp.-backed startup that manages hubs in parking lots used for food delivery and other services such as Covid-19 tests.

“We’re expanding REEF in the Middle East as we speak,” Mattar said.

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