FINANCIAL NEWS

Saudi Arabia to offer 11 flour mills for sale

16 Jun 2010

(MENAFN) Saudi Arabia’s grains authority said that the country will sell its 11 flour mills to three or four private investor groups, and will only keep the wheat import business under state control, Reuters reported.

The kingdom’s authorities have been focusing on saving water resources by reducing the amount of wheat they purchase from local farmers by 12.5 percent a year in addition to abandoning a 30-year wheat cultivation plan that had helped the country cover domestic needs.

The move of offering 11 flour mill for sale has turned Saudi Arabia’s state-run Grain Silos and Flour Mills Organization (GSFMO) into one of the biggest new buyers in the international grains market.

GSFMO Chairman, Fahad Balghunaim, said that the firm has submitted a proposal to privatize the 11 flour mills to the country’s highest economic authority, the Supreme Economic Council.

The state, meanwhile, will continue to control wheat imports because it is a strategic commodity, he said.

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