France’s Vinci to buy majority stake in London’s Gatwick

France’s Vinci to buy majority stake in London’s Gatwick
Gatwick “operates the busiest single runway in the world.” (File/AFP)
Updated 27 December 2018

France’s Vinci to buy majority stake in London’s Gatwick

France’s Vinci to buy majority stake in London’s Gatwick
  • Vinci said it would hold a 50.01-percent stake in Gatwick, which is Europe’s eight biggest airport
  • With the latest acquisition, Vinci Airports will control 46 airports in 12 countries with a total traffic of 228 million passengers a year

PARIS: France’s Vinci Airports on Thursday sealed a deal to acquire a majority share in London’s Gatwick airport, Britain’s second biggest, for 2.9 billion pounds (3.22 billion euros, $3.67 billion).
Vinci said it would hold a 50.01-percent stake in Gatwick, which is Europe’s eight biggest airport with a total passenger traffic of 45.7 million in 2018, by the first half of next year.
The other 49.99 percent will be held by Global Infrastructure Partners, the current owners.
Gatwick was forced to close its only runway repeatedly between last Wednesday and Friday due to reports of mystery drone sightings nearby, impacting nearly 140,000 passengers.
“The transaction represents a rare opportunity to acquire an airport of such size and quality and fits extremely well with Vinci Concessions’ long-term investment horizon,” a company statement said.
Gatwick “operates the busiest single runway in the world. In 2017, it hit a world record of 950 flights in a day. The airport constantly innovates in all areas of operations (for example passenger self-baggage drop, aircraft queing systems, parking products) and reaches very high level of operational efficiency,” the statement said.
“The whole Vinci Airports network will benefit from Gatwick Airport’s world-class management and operational excellence, which has allowed it to deliver strong and steady growth in a very constrained environment,” Nicolas Notebaert, Vinci Airports chief said.
With the latest acquisition, Vinci Airports will control 46 airports in 12 countries with a total traffic of 228 million passengers a year.
The French firm recently acquired airports in Brazil, Japan and Serbia.


Qatar National Bank sees gradual growth in Saudi Arabia after end of rift

Qatar National Bank sees gradual growth in Saudi Arabia after end of rift
Updated 3 min 18 sec ago

Qatar National Bank sees gradual growth in Saudi Arabia after end of rift

Qatar National Bank sees gradual growth in Saudi Arabia after end of rift
  • QNB opened its branch in Riyadh in May 2017, just a month before the dispute erupted
  • Bank would rebuild its information technology infrastructure and the banking team

DUBAI: Qatar National Bank (QNB), Gulf’s biggest bank by assets, expects its business in Saudi Arabia will pick up only gradually after reviving its Riyadh branch that was dormant for more than three years due to a diplomatic and economic rift.
A QNB executive made the comments to analysts on Monday after Riyadh announced a deal on Jan. 5 to end the dispute with Doha that forced Qatari firms to halt business in the kingdom and its airline to reroute flights around Saudi airspace.
QNB opened its branch in the Saudi capital in May 2017, just a month before the dispute erupted.
QNB Group Chief Financial Officer Ramzi Mari told analysts that the impact of reopening its Riyadh branch would be gradual, analysts who joined the call said.
The bank would rebuild its information technology infrastructure and the banking team in Riyadh, Mari said, according to the analysts who did not give further details.
QNB declined to comment.
Saudi Arabia, along with United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt suspended diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism. Qatar denied the charges and said the embargo was meant to undermine its sovereignty.
Qatar National Bank last week reported a drop in annual profit of more than 16 percent, hit by $1.6 billion in impairments during a year when the region’s economy was affected by the coronavirus outbreak.