Gulftainer acquires 51% stake in Gulf Stevedoring to manage Jeddah, Jubail ports

Updated 25 June 2013

Gulftainer acquires 51% stake in Gulf Stevedoring to manage Jeddah, Jubail ports

Gulftainer, the Sharjah-based port management and logistics company, yesterday announced that it has acquired a 51 percent stake in Saudi Arabia’s Gulf Stevedoring Contracting Company (GSCCO), allowing it to assume the full management of three Saudi terminals, located in Jeddah and Jubail.
The acquisition makes Gulftainer the largest port operator in the Middle East with regards to the number of terminals operated in the region, with the company managing 40 percent of all the major container terminal facilities in the Middle East that have the capacity to handle ships of 12,000 TEU or greater in size, and 45 percent of all major port capacity outside of the Strait of Hormuz.
At the Jeddah Islamic Port, Gulftainer will operate the Northern Container Terminal (NCT) on the west coast of Saudi Arabia, and Jubail Commercial Port (JCP) and Jubail Industrial Port (JIP) on the east coast. Both Jeddah and Jubail are key growth areas in the country with strong, positive economic forecasts, following massive government investments in infrastructure.
Jubail in particular is seen as critical to economic development within the Kingdom, and the government recently invested SR 800 million ($ 215 million) in its two facilities to increase its capacity and cope with the growing flow of cargo. In recent years, the government has also confirmed investments in excess of SR 480 billion ($ 129 billion) in energy and infrastructure projects in the surrounding region, which in turn is expected to spur massively increasing terminal activity.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, chairman of Gulf Stevedoring Company, said: "We are delighted to be partnering with Gulftainer and look forward to continuing to strengthen the relationship in the coming years. The Saudi economy is one of the strongest economies in the world thanks to the leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah. These three ports will be expanding significantly and the expertise that Gulftainer brings with it to Gulf Stevedoring and Contracting Company will be invaluable."
Speaking on the acquisition, Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises and vice chairman of the Gulftainer Group, commented; "We are very proud of our Sharjah and UAE heritage and home-grown expertise. Saudi Arabia’s growth makes it an extremely fast-paced, exciting market and I am confident that Gulftainer’s proven track record in this sector will further serve and support the evolution and development of the port and logistics sector in the Kingdom in the coming years. We are honored to partner with Gulf Stevedoring, and together we can offer a uniquely private-sector and genuinely objective approach toward port management and logistics in the country."
Peter Richards, group managing director, Gulftainer, said, "This is an exciting time for Gulftainer as we increase our footprint across the Middle East. The industry here is growing at a rapid pace and with this acquisition we have laid a strong foundation for the company’s future not just regionally but on a global level. The road ahead is one that we look to with optimism and ensure that we are well prepared to stay ahead of the trends and deliver exceptional results for our clients."
Gulftainer was established in Sharjah in 1976, and is a subsidiary of Crescent Enterprises which is a UAE-based conglomerate operating globally across multiple sectors, including power and engineering, aviation, health care, and private equity. Gulftainer launched the first dedicated container terminal in the UAE’s Port Khaled in Sharjah.
Gulftainer has grown significantly, regionally and internationally, and now has established ports and logistics operations across the UAE, Iraq, Russia, Lebanon and Brazil, as well as joint ventures in Turkey and Pakistan, and also operates international freight forwarding and project logistics. Gulftainer also managed 50 million tons of cargo through its directly owned and managed facilities.
Jeddah’s NCT has recently undergone significant expansion, which will substantially improve the capability of Jeddah Islamic Port. The facility currently consists of 1,654 m of quay, 11 cranes, seven of which are super post panamax cranes, with an annual capacity of three million TEUs. Almost 75 percent of all container traffic to the Kingdom is currently handled through the Port of Jeddah, and it is a major trade gateway for the Kingdom’s container traffic.
Located on the Arabian Gulf, Jubail is home to the development of the largest industrial zone in the world covering 8,000 hectares, comprising petrochemical plants, fertilizer plants, steel works, and an industrial port as well as the world’s largest desalination plant. Jubail Port is one of the largest industrial ports in the world and currently handles 52 million tons of cargo per annum, a figure which is expected to grow substantially in the short to medium-term.
JCP is equipped with a 1,282 m quay, five cranes and has a container handling capacity of 1 million TEU per annum. It is expected that this figure will continue to increase quickly, particularly with the opening of major petrochemical developments in the Jubail Industrial Zone and the planned rail link to Riyadh. GSCCO currently operates 22 commercial berths at the port, including the open sea tanker terminal.


A sham Qatar deal could have cost ex Barclays exec $64m, court hears

Updated 52 min 34 sec ago

A sham Qatar deal could have cost ex Barclays exec $64m, court hears

  • Roger Jenkins stood to get “good leaver” package -lawyer
  • Defense lawyers tell jury SFO case is misconceived, perverse

LONDON: A former top Barclays executive, on trial in London on fraud charges, would have risked a £50 million ($64 million) “good leaver” package if he had sought a criminal deal with Qatar during the credit crisis, a court heard on Thursday.
It would have been “lunacy” for Roger Jenkins, one of three men charged with fraud over undisclosed payments to Qatar during emergency fundraisings in 2008, to risk such accrued benefits and a job that had paid him 38 million pounds in 2007 alone, his lawyer told a jury at the Old Bailey criminal court.
The high-profile Serious Fraud Office (SFO) case revolves around how Barclays — one of the few major British banks to survive the credit crisis without direct government aid — raised more than 11 billion pounds ($14 billion) from Qatar and other investors to avert a state bailout as markets roiled.
Prosecutors allege that former top executives lied to the market and other investors by not properly disclosing 322 million pounds paid to Qatar, disguised as “bogus” advisory services agreements (ASAs), in return for around four billion pounds in two fundraisings over 2008.
Jenkins, the former head of the bank’s Middle East business, Tom Kalaris, who ran the wealth division and Richard Boath, a former head of European financial institutions, deny charges of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and fraud by false representation.
Lawyers for Jenkins and Kalaris told the jury the case against their clients was misconceived, perverse and illogical and that there was no evidence the ASAs were a sham or fake.
In brief opening speeches before the prosecution continues laying out its case, they alleged the defendants believed the ASAs were genuine agreements to secure lucrative business for Barclays in the Middle East — a region it was keen to exploit.
They said the agreements were side deals during emergency fundraising that June and October that had been approved by internal and external lawyers and cleared by the board.
“The unequivocal, repeated advice was that this was legitimate — providing the ASA was a genuine contract for the provision of benefits to Barclays,” said John Kelsey-Fry, a senior lawyer representing Jenkins.
Jenkins, who will give evidence later, had pursued and won the trust of Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al-Thani, the former prime minister of Qatar, and wanted to unseat Credit Suisse as the wealthy, gas-rich Gulf state’s preferred bankers, the jury heard.
Had Jenkins considered a fraudulent deal with Sheikh Hamad, the sheikh might have rung up Barclays bosses and said: “Neither I nor QIA (the sovereign wealth fund) are putting a penny in a bank like yours. I will never do business with you again,” Kelsey-Fry said.
Qatar Holding, part of QIA, invested in Barclays alongside Challenger, Sheikh Hamad’s investment vehicle.
The case against Kalaris, meanwhile, hung on three conversations he had had with Boath on the afternoon of June 11, 2008, that the prosecution had “fundamentally misunderstood,” his lawyer Ian Winter said.
When Kalaris told Boath: “Noone wants to go to jail here” and that lawyers would provide “air cover,” he was trying to ensure that a genuine ASA would be approved by legal experts as a legitimate means of paying Qatar for real value, Winter said.
All three men, aged between 60 and 64, are charged over the June fundraising. Jenkins, alone, also faces charges over the October fundraising.
The trial is scheduled to last around five months.