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)


Moody’s raises GDP growth forecasts for Saudi Arabian economy

Updated 17 min 35 sec ago
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Moody’s raises GDP growth forecasts for Saudi Arabian economy

  • The Moody’s report released on Wednesday maintained the Kingdom’s A1 rating
  • he agency expects higher oil production to boost the Saudi economy

LONDON: Moody’s has raised Saudi Arabia’s GDP growth forecast for 2018 to 2.5 percent from 1.3 percent as it maintains a “stable outlook” for the Saudi economy.
The ratings agency also increased its 2019 GDP forecast to 2.7 percent, well above the 1.5 percent previously predicted, the Kingdom’s Ministry of Finance said.
Moody’s numbers exceed the forecasts of the Saudi Arabian government for the 2019 budget announced in September.
The Moody’s report released on Wednesday maintained the Kingdom’s A1 rating.
The agency expects higher oil production to boost the economy, but also said developments in the non-oil sector will contribute to stronger GDP growth in the medium and long-term.
Moody’s said the Saudi government deficit for the 2018 and 2019 will hover between 3.5 percent and 3.6 percent, a far cry from its previous expectations of 5.8 percent and 5.2 percent.
Moody’s commended Saudi Arabia’s reasonable control of expenditure, even in the face of higher oil revenues.
“In addition to the moderate funding requirements, the government is able to access ample sources of liquidity, from both domestic or international capital markets and financial reserves. It is unlikely to face problems in financing the fiscal deficit,” the report said.
Last week, the IMF lifted its projections for economic growth in Saudi Arabia saying the Kingdom’s economy is expected to grow by 2.2 percent in 2018 and 2.4 percent next year, raising previous projections by 0.5 percent.