Coca-Cola, Partners To Invest $1.7 Billion on Indian Agri-Ecosystem

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Coca-Cola Co., along with its bottling partners, fruit suppliers, and processors, announced on Monday, that they will invest $1.7 billion in India’s agricultural ecosystem over the next five years, with much of the investment going towards expanding the company’s juice portfolio.

“The investments announced today by Coca- Cola will further catalyze economic growth and create new opportunities for farmers and local suppliers,” said T Krishnakumar, Coca-Cola India and Southwest Asia President

Around $800 million of   the investment will go towards the procurement of processed fruit pulp and fruit concentrate for Coca-Cola juice and juice drinks, as well as the associated infrastructure.

In tandem with its bottling partners, fruit suppliers and processors in India, the U.S. beverage giant will invest the amount in the entire supply chain from grove to glass through a concept called the Fruit Circular Economy.

“If we are to realize our portfolio ambitions of being a Total Beverage Company, we must invest in the agri-ecosystem,” said T Krishnakumar, president, Coca-Cola India and Southwest Asia.

While the remaining amount would go towards creating the required infrastructure, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages, Coke, along with other independent franchise bottlers and fruit processing companies, through its bottling arm, will invest around $900 million manufacturing lines, juice bottling infrastructure and fruit processing plants and equipment and agriculture interventions.

The company also said it procures and exports raw materials and ingredients worth $280 million from India to 44 countries.

Coca-Cola Plans To Launch Frozen Desserts in India

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola also plans to introduce frozen desserts in India as the beverages giant looks to continue its portfolio beyond carbonated drinks into fruit-based or other healthier choices.

“The new product will be available in the next three months, and initially sell in institutional formats such as movie theatres, and not as retail packs,” said by two officials aware of the launch. “The company will also put fruit chunks in Maaza and Minute Maid to make the drinks healthier.”

The new product range, made with fruit chunks, will be under the Minute Maid brand and challenge the dominance of Hindustan Unilever and Amul in the Rs 10,000 crore ice-cream segments.

Earlier today, Coca-Cola opened at $45.90 with a session high of $46.06 and a session low of $45.78. The stock has a market capitalization of $196.88 billion, a P/E ratio of 32.23, and a dividend yield of 3.22%.

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Yen Falls against Dollar amid Cyber Attack, North Korea Test

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The safe haven yen fell against the U.S. dollar, who bounced back from its early losses, on Monday, ignoring another missile test by North Korea on Sunday and threats from a cyber attack that spread around the globe at the weekend.

USD/JPY was up 0.09% to 113.48 by 06.38 EDT, after dropping down to overnight lows of 113.17.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, pulled back a little  0.26% at 98.79. Weak U.S. data Friday dampened the outlook for the pace of further U.S. tightening this year.

The yen went higher overnight after North Korea confirmed that it had carried out a mid-to-long range missile test on Sunday.

The test was a significant advance in North Korea’s drive for an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and reaching the U.S. mainland.

North Korea’s statement over the weekend that its latest missile test can carry a large nuclear warhead worried investors at the start of a new trading week and provided a minor increase to the Japanese Yen’s safe-haven appeal. Investors were also cautious amid fears that a weekend cyberattack that hit businesses, hospitals and government agencies in at least 150 countries around the world is probably rising.

The dollar had declined last Friday after data showing that U.S. retail sales grew less than expected last month and core inflation dropped raised concerns over the economic viewpoint.

Ahead, China reports fixed asset investment with a 9.1% gain seen for April year-on-year, industrial production with a 7.1% rise seen and retail sales with an increase of 10.6% expected.

Later this week, the U.S. will report on building permits, housing starts, industrial production and jobless claims for fresh indications on the strength of the economy. Japan is to report on first quarter growth and the UK is to produce what will be carefully watched data on inflation, employment and retail sales amid signs that the headwinds from Brexit are rising.

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