GulfNav targets expansion with offshore oil and gas acquisition

Offshore drilling platforms in Singapore. The UAE-based shipping company Gulf Navigation is in talks to acquire a majority stake in Singapore-listed Atlantic Navigation as part of its plans to expand into the offshore oil and gas sector. (Reuters)
Updated 29 January 2018
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GulfNav targets expansion with offshore oil and gas acquisition

LONDON: The UAE-based shipping company Gulf Navigation (GulfNav) is in talks to acquire a majority stake in Singapore-listed Atlantic Navigation as part of its plans to expand into the offshore oil and gas sector in the Gulf.
“This investment marks a major milestone in Gulf Navigation’s strategy to grow our offering to our customers in the regional offshore oil and gas sector. At the same time it gives Gulf Navigation a significant position in the GCC regional OSV O&G market,” said Khamis Juma Buamim, group CEO of GulfNav, in a statement.
Atlantic operates a fleet of 25 vessels including offshore cargo barges, offshore supply vessels and lift boats. It also has a 50 percent share in a consortium to work on a $45 million deconstruction project with a Middle East-based national oil company, a GulfNav statement said. The project involves demolishing and removing offshore and onshore structures at an abandoned oil field in Abu Dhabi.
The planned acquisition is another step in GulfNav’s growth plans launched in July 2016 as it aims to respond to the anticipated demand for the shipping of petroleum and petrochemical products.
GulfNav set a target to double the size of its fleet of chemical tankers and offshore vessels to 20 ships by 2020 as well as increase its revenues by 300 percent by 2021.
In line with that strategy, GulfNav announced on Jan. 2 said it would increase the company’s capital by approximately 448 million dirhams ($121.9 million) to reach a total share capital of 1 billion dirhams. The offering will be launched in the first quarter of this year.
“Many GCC countries have allocated more than $140 billion over the next decade to expand their production,” said Buamim in a statement earlier this month, citing Saudi Aramco as an example which is looking to increase its oil refining capacity from 2.9 million to 3.3 million barrels per day by 2020.
“We are confident that we have all the required expertise to win a large share of this market, and we plan to be ready by having the capabilities and the fleet size sufficient to keep up with this expansion,” he said.
The company said this month it would refinance two petrochemical carriers Gulf Mishref and Gulf Mirdif to increase the firm’s fleet capacity. The vessels have the capacity to carry more than 26,000 tons each of chemical cargo. They will operate on the East Coast of the US, the Gulf of Mexico and will travel between the coast of West Africa and Europe.
Signs of a revival in GulfNav’s fortunes follow a major financial restructuring after it posted a net loss of 147.83 million dirhams in 2012. At the time the company cited poor trading conditions in the VLCC market and a tightening lending market.
The company had to sell two of its VLCCs, Gulf Sheba and Gulf Eyadeh, about four years ago.


Oman regulator suspends KPMG from new auditing work over ‘irregularities’

Updated 14 November 2018
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Oman regulator suspends KPMG from new auditing work over ‘irregularities’

  • In Oman, KPMG is banned for one year from doing new auditing work for companies regulated by the CMA
  • It is another setback for KPMG, which is under scrutiny after losing clients in South Africa following its role in a high-profile corruption scandal there

DUBAI: Oman’s securities regulator said on Wednesday it has suspended audit firm KPMG from doing new work for a year after finding major financial and accounting irregularities at some listed companies.
The Capital Market Authority (CMA) took corrective steps at those companies to protect investors, it said in a statement without naming the firms or giving other details.
A review by the CMA “established professional negligence on the part of some audit firms that warranted disciplinary measures against them in the interests of the investors and other stakeholders,” the CMA said.
It is another setback for KPMG, which is under scrutiny after losing clients in South Africa following its role in a high-profile corruption scandal there and has faced investigations in Britain over its auditing of some clients.
In Oman, KPMG is banned for one year from doing new auditing work for companies regulated by the CMA, including listed companies, securities firms and insurers.
The penalty does not affect projects where KPMG has already been appointed, and KPMG has a right to appeal against the penalty before an independent authority, the CMA said.
KPMG said it could not immediately comment on the CMA’s statement.