Abu Dhabi issues major schools and lighting PPP tenders

The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) has advertised the procurement of the schools. (Shutterstock/File Photo)
The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) has advertised the procurement of the schools. (Shutterstock/File Photo)
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Updated 20 April 2021

Abu Dhabi issues major schools and lighting PPP tenders

The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) has advertised the procurement of the schools. (Shutterstock/File Photo)

RIYADH: Abu Dhabi is seeking private sector partners for three new schools and a street lighting project.

The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) has advertised the procurement of the schools and phase 2 of its street lighting upgrade program, WAM reported.

Potential bidders can now submit expressions of interest.

“Collaboration with the private sector is an integral part of the Abu Dhabi leadership’s vision to drive long-term economic growth in the emirate. In 2020, ADIO laid the foundations to supercharge collaboration between business and government,” said the director-general of ADIO, Tariq Bin Hendi.

The Zayed City Schools PPP project will provide three new schools with a capacity of 5,360 students in Abu Dhabi’s Zayed City.

The contract will include the design, build, finance, maintenance and transfer of three schools with a concession period of 22 years, inclusive of a construction period of 24 months and a maintenance period of 20 years.

Phase 2 of the Street Lighting LED PPP program will see approximately 140,000 of the emirate’s streetlights replaced with energy-efficient LED technology.

This will offer a 76 percent reduction in their power consumption — equivalent to cost savings of 705 million dirhams — and will be structured as a 12-year concession agreement with the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT).

ADIO is the central Abu Dhabi government authority with responsibility for delivering infrastructure projects through a PPP framework.


Aramex profits hit by supply chain disruptions as new CEO unveiled

Aramex profits hit by supply chain disruptions as new CEO unveiled
Updated 24 min 30 sec ago

Aramex profits hit by supply chain disruptions as new CEO unveiled

Aramex profits hit by supply chain disruptions as new CEO unveiled
  • Q1 net profit fell 32 percent to 46 million dirhams
  • Revenue jumped 24 percent to 1.42 billion dirhams

DUBAI: Aramex failed to turn a surge in demand from e-commerce into profits as pandemic-related capacity constraints squeezed margins in the first quarter.
Q1 net profit fell 32 percent to 46 million dirhams ($12.5 million) even as revenues jumped 24 percent to 1.42 billion dirhams, the Dubai-based logistics company said in a filing to the Dubai Financial Market.
The increase in revenue was driven by a 35 percent gain in its International Express business to 647 million dirhams as cross-border e-commerce in the US, UK, Hong Kong and other Asian markets gathered pace. Its domestic express business grew 23 percent to 356 million dirhams, where e-commerce activity in Saudi Arabia was a major driver.
“The impact of COVID-19 continues to weigh on our operating margins because of relatively high line haul costs,” CEO Bashar Obeid said in the DFM filing. “The downward pressure on margins will likely continue for the remainder of the year, however, will slowly start to abate as we continue to explore ways and redesign our line haul network.”
Aramex also announced that Othman Aljeda will replace Obeid as CEO following an undisclosed transition period. Obeid resigned on April 29 after 28 years with the company and four years in the top job, citing personal reasons.


Bahrain may follow other Gulf states by selling oil pipeline assets

Bahrain may follow other Gulf states by selling oil pipeline assets
Updated 24 min 1 sec ago

Bahrain may follow other Gulf states by selling oil pipeline assets

Bahrain may follow other Gulf states by selling oil pipeline assets
  • Flurry of energy asset sales in recent weeks
  • Bahrain’s new petrochemical plant will use naphtha

RIYADH: Bahrain may follow other Gulf states and sell energy assets to bolster its economy after last year’s crash in oil prices, Bloomberg reported
“We’ve got a lot of infrastructure assets that can easily be” structured to raise funding, Oil Minister Mohammed bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa said in an interview. “We’ve been looking at this for some time. We haven’t made a decision yet,” he added.
A pipeline connecting the island-nation to Saudi Arabia would be “ideal” for a private-equity transaction, while a ship for importing liquefied natural gas and upstream assets could also be used to raise money, he said.
In recent weeks, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait have all accelerated multi-billion-dollar plans to sell energy assets or issue bonds off the back of them, Bloomberg said.
The region’s state energy producers are in a strong position because demand for infrastructure assets, which tend to have steady returns, is high, Al Khalifa said.
“There seems to be a large pool of capital interested in this, despite all the challenges with the environmental drive,” he said.
Al-Khalifa said that the government is in talks with international firms about them investing in a petrochemical plant that will cost as much as $2 billion to build, the news site said.
Bahrain’s new petrochemical plant will use naphtha from a nearby refinery, whose capacity is being expanded from 270,000 oil barrels a day to 400,000. The expansion should be finished in around 18 months, Bloomberg reported.


Mubadala reports record income after $29bn tech and life sciences spending spree

Mubadala reports record income after $29bn tech and life sciences spending spree
Updated 06 May 2021

Mubadala reports record income after $29bn tech and life sciences spending spree

Mubadala reports record income after $29bn tech and life sciences spending spree
  • UAE and US remain biggest investment areas
  • Assets under management reach 894 billion dirhams

DUBAI: Mubadala Investment Company, the Abu Dhabi sovereign investor, reported a 36 percent rise in total comprehensive income to 72 billion dirhams ($19.59 billion) after a year of frenetic deal making.
It represents the largest total comprehensive income in Mubadala’s history, the company said in a statement. The performance was driven by significant growth in Mubadala’s public equities portfolio and funds, it said.
In 2020, Mubadala invested 108 billion dirhams ($29.39 billion) of capital, across telecom, pharma and tech.
“We navigated our portfolio through the dramatic macro-economic decline of early 2020, and decided to accelerate the pace of our capital deployment, ending the year with record profit and growth,” said CEO Khaldoon Al Mubarak. “In line with our long-term strategy, we increased our investments in sectors where we have high conviction, and with high performing fund managers. Technology and life sciences in particular have been essential to the world over the last year, and we see those sectors bringing greater opportunity for deeper investment.”
Mubadala struck long-term agreements with Silver Lake in technology; in life sciences with PCI Pharma in the US; and in consumer goods and telecommunications with the Reliance Group of India, it said.
The UAE and the US remained the largest geographic areas for its portfolio. It also invested through its sovereign investment partnerships in France, China and Russia in 2020.
At year-end, its assets under management across the group stood at 894 billion dirhams — up from 853 billion dirhams in 2019.


Kuwait may take 4 years to introduce personal taxes

Kuwait may take 4 years to introduce personal taxes
Updated 06 May 2021

Kuwait may take 4 years to introduce personal taxes

Kuwait may take 4 years to introduce personal taxes
  • Political gridlock and a lack of expertise holding up plans
  • Oman became fourth GCC state to introduce VAT in April

RIYADH: It could be 3 to 4 years before Kuwait introduces taxes on its citizens as political gridlock and a lack of local expertise hinder the government’s plans, Alrai newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed sources.

There are currently no direct taxes on citizens in Kuwait, but companies pay about 4.5 percent of their net profits, including zakat and labor support and a contribution to the Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences.

In June 2016, all six GCC states signed the Common VAT Agreement, pledging to introduce a 5 percent VAT rate.

Oman introduced a 5 percent value-added tax (VAT) on April 16, the fourth Gulf Cooperation Council country to implement a so-called consumption tax.

It followed the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Saudi Arabia tripled its VAT rate to 15 percent last July to help fund its coronavirus relief efforts.

Kuwait’s parliament has pushed back the implementation date several times but the International Monetary Fund said last year that it expects it to be introduced by 2022. Qatar is expected to go ahead with VAT in the second or third quarter of this year and is said to be close to finalizing its tax administration system, Dhareeba.


Saudi Fransi to advise Emaar the Economic City on $753m capital hike debt conversion

Saudi Fransi to advise Emaar the Economic City on $753m capital hike debt conversion
Updated 06 May 2021

Saudi Fransi to advise Emaar the Economic City on $753m capital hike debt conversion

Saudi Fransi to advise Emaar the Economic City on $753m capital hike debt conversion

DUBAI: Emaar The Economic City has hired Saudi Fransi Capital to advise on a capital increase through the conversion of a SR2.83bn ($753 million) loan owed to the Public Investment Fund.
It comes after a tough year for the developer behind King Abdullah Economic City as the pandemic slowed major construction projects worldwide.
“The reason for the debt conversion is to improve the company’s liquidity and credit position and enhance its ability to achieve its growth objectives,” the developer said in a stock exchange filing on Thursday. “The capital increase will not result in any financial liability on or require any cash contribution by the company’s shareholders.”
The developer in March reported widening 2020 losses as it recorded an impairment of SR316 million on properties available for sale and lease and other operating assets.
The capital hike through debt conversion is subject to market and shareholder approval.