Adani Ports to boost trade lanes with joint Haifa Port acquisition

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The Port of Haifa, Israel
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LONDON (Reuters) - Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone said its acquisition of Haifa Port with a local Israeli partner will boost trade lanes with the company's Indian ports and could better connect Europe and the Middle East in the longer term.

After a two-year tender process, Adani Ports and local chemicals and logistics group Gadot clinched the 4.1 billion shekel ($1.18 billion) winning bid for Haifa Port, Israel announced on Thursday.

Adani Ports will have a 70% stake and Gadot will hold the remaining 30%, the Indian company said.

The country hopes the privatisation of the previously government-owned port will lower import prices and help shorten notoriously long wait times at Israeli harbors.

Adani Ports, which is the largest port developer and operator in India, said the acquisition the company will "expand its footprint into the European port sector, which includes the lucrative Mediterranean region".

"In the short term, we look forward to developing strategic trade lanes between our ports in India and Haifa," Adani Ports chief executive Karan Adani said in a statement.

He added that the company anticipated Israel in the longer term becoming a connection both for Europe and the Middle East.

"Therefore we stand to be benefit from the new possible trade lanes that will get created," Adani said.

The India-headquartered group's shares rose as much as 1.9% to 738.45 rupees ($9.24) on Friday and were last trading 0.56% higher at 728.25 rupees at 0827 GMT.

Warming ties with neighbouring Arab countries are also creating new trade opportunities for Israel. That means Haifa is well-placed to become a regional hub, as well as a link between Asia and Europe.

($1 = 3.4897 shekels)

(Reporting by Jonathan Saul on London, additional reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan in New Delhi; Editing by Jamie Freed)

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