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Thursday December 7th, 2023

Singapore’s G&G bullish on Sri Lanka agro sector after Hatton Plantations buy

ECONOMYNEXT- Singapore-based G&G Group is looking to invest in Sri Lanka’s agriculture sector in the future, an official said after acquiring tea producer Hatton Plantation Plc (HPL) for 1 billion rupees despite heightened risk perceptions.

"We will use HPL as a platform through which we will consolidate in Sri Lanka’s agriculture sector with further opportunities," said Gowri Shankar, a Director of G&G subsidiary Lotus Renewable Energy Pty Ltd.

"We’re looking at not only tea, but other agriculture processes," he said.

The group is investing despite risk perceptions being heightened following Islamist suicide bombings in April.

"We’re passionate and want to support Sri Lanka during its time of need," Shankar said.

G&G, which invests in environmentally sustainable agriculture and energy, will be looking to invest in businesses that cater to both local and export markets in Sri Lanka, Shankar said.

"It is a combination of both, but we will be leaning more towards exports," he said.

HPL’s former owner Sunshine group, separated the tea operations from the rest of its businesses due to volatility of the commodity. Under Sunshine management, the tea firm was among the most profitable.

However, G&G is confident of the tea industry’s prospects in the long run.

"If we were too concerned about the volatility, we would not have invested," Shankar said.

"The investment falls in line with the long-term vision of our group."

G&G’s local subsidiary Lotus Renewable Energy Pvt Ltd will also be looking for more investments in hydro and LNG power generation, he said.


You may also read:

 Lotus Renewables buys Sri Lanka’s Hatton Plantations

Sunshine Holdings focusing on consumer and health after Sri Lanka tea farm exit


The firm paid a premium to market price for 51 percent. It has an option to buy more stock at the same price.

The stock fell from 6.90 rupees to 6.40 after the blasts. The new buyers paid 8.30 rupees for control. The stock closed trading at 7.90 rupees, up 1.80 rupees.

Net assets per share of HPL was 8.25 rupees in December.

The 1 billion rupee acquisition was financed partly through cash as well as debt, through NDB Bank.

Lotus Renewable Energy has been expanding its energy business with acquisitions including Browns Hydro Power and Zyrex Power over the past three years.

The G&G group has a turnover of 400 million US dollars and employs 20,000 people, according to its website. It farms on 50,000 hectares of land in Australia. Most of its operations are in grains,  pulses and oilseeds. 

The HPL acquisition will add 5,000 hectares and approximately 12.8 million US dollars in revenue to G&G.

It also has interests in companies such as Prima Group subsidiary Ceylon Agro Industries and Origin Teas, which owns 16 plantations in Sri Lanka .

Group Chairman Gary Seaton had held a 45 percent stake in Pussellawa Plantations in the past, before divesting in 2018. (Colombo/May28/2019)

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COP28 sees new era for climate action with $57 bln pledge; Sri Lanka’s proposals need approval

ECONOMYNEXT – The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) has witnessed governments, businesses, investors, and philanthropies announcing support of over $57 billion across the climate agenda in just the first four days of the global event with eight pledges and declarations receiving historic support.

After a historic deal to operationalize a fund for climate impact response on the first day, announcements have poured in across the entire climate agenda, including on finance, health, food, nature, and energy.

On climate finance, the COP28 host United Arab Emirates launched a $30 billion catalytic fund, ALTÉRRA, with an emphasis on unlocking private finance across the Global South.

The host nation also has announced $200 million for SDRs and $150 million for water scarcity.

The World Bank has announced an increase of $9 billion annually to finance climate-related projects, while the first two days of COP28 saw $725 million in pledges after a historic response to loss and damage was operationalized.

Eight new declarations have been announced which are expected to help transform every major system of the global economy.

These include the first ever declarations on food systems transformation and health, plus declarations on renewable energy and efficiency, as well as initiatives to decarbonize heavy emitting industries.

The eight declarations are:

  • The Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge has been endorsed by 119 countries.
  • The COP28 UAE Declaration on Agriculture, Food, & Climate has received endorsements from 137 countries.
  • The COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate and Health has been endorsed by 125 countries.
  • The COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate Relief, Recovery & Peace has been endorsed by 74 countries and 40 organizations.
  • The COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate Finance has been endorsed by 12 countries.
  • The Coalition for High Ambition Multilevel Partnerships (Champ) Pledge has been endorsed by 64 countries.
  • The Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter has been endorsed by 51 companies, representing 40 percent of global oil production.
  • The Industrial Transition Accelerator has been endorsed by 35 companies and six industry associations, including World Steel Association, International Aluminium Institute, Global Renewable Alliance, Global Cement and Concrete Association, Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, International Air Transport Association.

Three additional declarations will be announced in the coming days on hydrogen, cooling, and gender. The number of countries supporting these declarations and pledges is growing and demonstrates an unprecedented level of inclusivity at this COP.

Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe announced three new proposals: Climate Justice Forum (CJF), Tropical Belt Initiative (TBI), and International Climate Change University in Sri Lanka.

However, the proposals are yet to get approval from the general UN body though the island nation’s authorities expect wide support for the moves.

“What we have done is to talk to countries about the initiatives and launch them. Next step is for them to be formally recognized by the main body,” Ruwan Wijewardena, the Senior Advisor to President Wickremesinghe on Climate change, told Economy Next.

Breakdown of financial pledges and contributions so far:

  • Loss and Damage: $725 million
  • Green Climate Fund: $3.5 billion (increasing second replenishment to $12.8 billion)
  • Renewable Energy: $2.5 billion
  • Technology: $568 million
  • Methane: $1.2 billion
  • Climate Finance: Over $30 billion from UAE (plus $200 million in Special Drawing Rights and an increase of $9 billion annually from the World Bank)
  • Food: $2.6 Billion
  • Nature: $2.6 Billion
  • Health: $2.7 billion
  • Water: $150 million
  • Relief, Recovery and Peace: $1.2 billion
  • Local Climate Action: $467 million (Dubai/Dec 6/2023)
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Sri Lanka to start international tourism branding campaign

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will soon start a tourism international marketing campaign under the theme ‘You will come back for more,” Tourism Minister Harin Fernando said.

“We have not had a branding campaign for 15 years,” Fernando told parliament. “A campaign has been developed by Ogilvy.

“It will help us reach the target of 2.3 million tourists next year.”

This year Sri Lanka is expecting a 1.5 million tourists with close to 1.3 million reached by November.

About 6,000 tourists are now coming each day, at the moment he said.

On December 10, three cruise ships are due. (Colombo/Nov06/2023)

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Sri Lanka 3-month Treasuries yields fall

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Treasury bill yields eased across maturities with the tree month yield falling 19 basis points to 14.67 percent, data from the state debt office showed.

A total of 185 billion rupees in bills were sold, with sharply lower than offered volumes in 12-months sold.

The debt office offered 55 billion rupees of 3 -month bills and sold 87 billion.

92 billion rupees of 6-month bills were sold after offering 60 billion at 14.38 percent down 14 basis points.

Only 5.2 billion rupees of 12-month bills were sold after offering 70 billion rupees, at 12.88 percent, down 01 basis point. (Colombo/Dec06/2023)

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