Cofco to increase influence in Asia grain and oil markets

by Emily Wilson
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Cofco International Ltd., the Hong Kong-listed public subsidiary of the China National Cereals, Oils & Foodstuffs Import & Export Corp., has embarked on an active acquisition program. According to Liu Fuchun, managing director of Cofco and also president of its Beijing-based parent, purchases will be of free-standing companies and also divisions of the parent.

In the six months ended June 30, Cofco International had net income totaling HK$80.9 million (U.S.$10.4 million) and sales of HK$1.65 billion (U.S.$212 million), compared with HK$55.4 million and HK$717.7 million, respectively, in the first six months of 2000.

Zhou Mingchen, chairman of Cofco, said, "To become one of the most influential grain and oils companies in Asia, Cofco will be on the lookout for companies to acquire."

Purchases from the Chinese parent in recent months have included Cofco Oils & Fats Holdings Ltd., Cofco Wines & Spirits Holdings, a food trading company and a chocolate processing business.