BBK along with BMI Bank, through its Islamic banking division, has signed an agreement to provide a syndicated Murabaha BD18 million ($47.8 million) financing facility for Bahrain-based Arabian Sugar Company.
As part of the agreement, BBK will be acting as the facility agent bank whilst BMI Bank will be the security agent, documentation bank and investment agent for the facility.
Arabian Sugar Company will be a computerised, state-of-the-art sugar refinery.
When the first phase of the project is fully operational, the facility will produce more than 600,000 tons of high-quality sugar a year.
The project aims to supply the Bahraini and GCC markets. This is an important food security project for Bahrain and one which is fully in line with the Economic Vision 2030.
It will provide a secure source of sugar as well as ensuring price stability for this important commodity. The project will create 140 new jobs, of which the majority will be for Bahrainis.
A specialised training programme has already been devised by Arabian Sugar Company which will allow the company to increase its jobs for Bahrainis as they take over more senior positions within a specific time frame.
Raw sugar for the plant will be transported by a fleet of specially adapted barges which will be unloaded at the plant's own private jetty.
The refining process which will be used in the new plant will enable the highest quality of sugar to be produced.
"We are very pleased to have signed this agreement along with BMI Bank to provide a significant credit facility to Arabian Sugar Company," said BBK chief executive Abdulkarim Bucheery. "This project is a very important one for Bahrain. Not only will it create a significant number of new jobs for Bahrainis but it will also take the kingdom further down the path of being able to provide food security for its citizens.
"BBK, as one of the leading banks in the region, is keen to play a major role in funding Bahrain's industrial development projects. We wish the management and employees of Arabian Sugar Company every success in developing their business and achieving further growth," he added.
"Global sugar consumption has continued to increase despite the continuing economic difficulties in many developed countries," said BMI Bank general manager support services Eyad Satter.
"Additionally rapid economic growth and urbanisation trends have promoted the industrial use of sugar in food manufacture and preparations.
"As a result, the world has been witnessing a gradual increase in sales of white sugar by some traditional sugar exporters as well as from new destination refineries in the Middle East and Africa," he added.
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