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Saudi Arabia's SALIC considers Russian grain investment

MOSCOW, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's SALIC is
considering investing in a Russian grain producer owned by
Russian conglomerate Sistema and members of the
Louis-Dreyfus family, Sistema said on Thursday.

Saudi Arabia began scaling back its domestic wheat-growing
programme in 2008, planning to rely completely on imports by
2016 to save water. Russia, one of the world's top grain
exporters, is expected to harvest a record grain crop in 2017.

The Saudi Agriculture and Livestock Investment Company
(SALIC) was formed in 2011 to secure food supplies for the
kingdom mainly through mass production and foreign investments.

RZ Agro, a joint venture between Sistema and Louis-Dreyfus
family members, was created in 2012. It produces grain and has a
land bank of 106,000 hectares in Russia's southern regions.

"The parties will discuss the structure and parameters of
the potential deal after the due diligence of RZ Agro Holding
Ltd," Sistema said in a statement.

The memorandum of understanding was one of several signed at
the Russian-Saudi Business Investment Forum in Moscow. Saudi
Arabia's King Salman is meeting Russia's President Vladimir
Putin in the Russian capital on Thursday.
(Reporting by Polina Devitt; additional reporting by Maha El
Dahan; editing by Alexander Smith)

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