WH Ireland says Kuwaiti investor transfers stake in firm

A view of the financial district in the City of London. WH Ireland Group said that its second biggest investor, Kuwaiti European Holding Group (KEH), had transferred ownership. (Shutterstock)
Updated 20 July 2018
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WH Ireland says Kuwaiti investor transfers stake in firm

LONDON: WH Ireland Group said on Friday that its second biggest investor, Kuwaiti European Holding Group (KEH), had transferred ownership of its 23.1 percent stake in the financial services company. The British stockbroker said the transfer meant KEH no longer had the right to appoint a director to the board of the company. KEH Chief Executive Humphrey Percy has stepped down from his director role with immediate effect.
WH Ireland, which offers private wealth management, wealth planning and corporate broking services, said KEH’s stake was now held by three individuals: Abdulaziz Al-Bader, who holds a 9.21 percent stake; Thamer Al-Wazzan, with 8.56 percent; and Waleed Al-Thaqeb, with 4.09 percent.
WH Ireland attracted investment from the Middle East in 2016 when KEH spent 8.45 million pounds ($11.02 million) to buy its stake to help serve financial services clients across the Middle East and Britain.
KEH, an investment company focused on property, health and leisure businesses, said then that WH Ireland’s business model and strategy was “highly complementary” to that of KEH’s financial services businesses — Armila Capital and Al-Fouz Investment Company.
Two of WH Ireland’s three biggest stakeholders — Polygon Global Partners and Oceanwood Capital Management — are hedge funds.
Spokesmen for Polygon and Oceanwood were not immediately available for comment. A spokesman for WH Ireland declined to comment further when contacted by Reuters.
WH Ireland’s stock was 1.3 percent lower at 1150 GMT.
The firm’s CEO Richard Killingbeck stepped down on Thursday following two years of losses, hurt by reduced transactions from corporate and institutional broking division and continuation of higher costs in private wealth management division.
($1 = 0.7665 pounds)


Libya’s National Oil against paying ‘ransom’ to reopen El Sharara field

Updated 14 December 2018
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Libya’s National Oil against paying ‘ransom’ to reopen El Sharara field

  • Ransom payment would set dangerous precedent
  • NOC declared force majeure on exports on Monday

BENGHAZI: Libya’s state-owned National Oil Corp. (NOC) said it was against paying a ransom to an armed group that has halted crude production at the country’s largest oilfield.
“Any attempt to pay a ransom to the armed militia which shut down El Sharara (oilfield) would set a dangerous precedent that would threaten the recovery of the Libyan economy,” NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in a statement on the company’s website.
NOC on Monday declared force majeure on exports from the 315,000-barrels-per-day oilfield after it was seized at the weekend by a local militia group.
The nearby El-Feel oilfield, which uses the same power supply as El Sharara, was still producing normally, a spokesman for NOC said, without giving an output figure. The field usually pumps around 70,000 bpd.
Since 2013 Libya has faced a wave of blockages of oilfields and export terminals by armed groups and civilians trying to press the country’s weak state into concessions.
Officials have tended to end such action by paying off protesters who demand to be added to the public payroll.
At El Sharara, in southern Libya, a mix of state-paid guards, civilians and tribesmen have occupied the field, camping there since Saturday, protesters and oil workers said. The protesters work in shifts, with some going home at night.
NOC has evacuated some staff by plane, engineers at the oilfield said. A number of sub-stations away from the main field have been vacated and equipment removed.
The occupiers are divided, with members of the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) indicating they would end the blockade in return for a quick cash payment, oil workers say. The PFG has demanded more men be added to the public payroll.
The tribesmen have asked for long-term development funds, which might take time.
Libya is run by two competing, weak governments. Armed groups, tribesmen and normal Libyans tend to vent their anger about high inflation and a lack of infrastructure on the NOC, which they see as a cash cow booking billions of dollars in oil and gas revenues annually.