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NEWS ADMIN

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

DATE

26/02/2004

NEWS PROVIDER

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

NEWS SOURCE

Bernama

CATEGORY

HEADLINE

Birla Group To Exit From Rubber Business In Malays
NEW DELHI, Feb 25 (Bernama) -- A.V. Birla Group of India is planning toexit from the rubber business in Malaysia, says a report in the financialdaily, the Economic Times, quoting senior Birla group executives.

The group's rubber venture, Pan Century Rubber Products Sdn Bhd, is intothe production of various latex products.

The group is in the process of finalising its decision on the rubberbusiness.

"In all likelihood, we would be putting the rubber venture on the block,"an executive was quoted by the paper as saying.

Besides the rubber business, the group's business operations in Malaysiainclude edible oils and oleo chemicals.

The report said that the group's rubber business accounts for a very smallportion of the group's total business revenue of US$0.5 billion (US$1 =RM3.8).

The Birla Group acquired Pan Rubber Products in mid-1990s. The company,which produces high quality latex examination gloves, also exports itsproducts to some of the developed markets.

As part of a new strategy, the group has appointed a new country head,Ravi Kastia, for overseeing the Malaysian operations.

Under the new strategy, the report says, the group would focus on theother two businesses, oleo chemicals and edible oils in Malaysia.

The immediate focus would be to grow the markets for the palm oil businessand increase the capacity utilisation of its plant, sources were reportedas saying.

Birla group's oleo chemical business in Malaysia, Pan Century OleoChemicals, was set up in 1991 and produces high purity fatty acids andglycerine.

The oleo chemicals plant, with a capacity of 85,000 tonnes per annum usestechnology from Badger Engineers, part of the Raytheon group of the US.

-- BERNAMA