French construction design firm Clestra Hauserman opens regional HQ in Riyadh

French construction design firm Clestra Hauserman opens regional HQ in Riyadh
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Laurent Estrade, head of the economic department at the French embassy of KSA, alongside Farid Habbas, ME director of Clestra Hauserman, cut the ceremonial ribbon on the opening of the firm's regional headquarters in Riyadh. (AN photo/Zaid Khashogji)
French construction design firm Clestra Hauserman opens regional HQ in Riyadh
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Clestra Hauserman opens their regional headquarters in Riyadh on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022. (AN photo/Zaid Khashogji)
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Updated 27 January 2022

French construction design firm Clestra Hauserman opens regional HQ in Riyadh

French construction design firm Clestra Hauserman opens regional HQ in Riyadh
  • Today, the Clestra Hauserman Group has offices in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman

RIYADH: A French construction and design firm opened its regional headquarters in Riyadh on Tuesday, in a 50-50 partnership deal with Saudi holding company, Zuhair Al-Habib Group.

Known internationally for their eco-friendly partitions, Clestra Hauserman’s decision to open a regional office in the capital city comes one year after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the Riyadh Strategy 2030 plan. 

“Saudi Arabia is our biggest market and as of this year I can say that 80 percent of our business comes from here,” said Farid Habbas, Middle East Director of Clestra Hauserman.

“It was a natural move for the firm that we were happy and ready for. Our firm will now have direct access to the local economy, which will help us gain financial and geographic opportunities,” he told Arab News.

Clestra Hauserman, which had been based in Dubai, joins more than 40 multinational companies that are moving to Riyadh.

The plan includes a policy stating that government and state-backed institutions will no longer sign any contracts with foreign entities from 2024 unless their regional headquarters are based in the Kingdom.

The policy, which paved way for a regional headquarters attraction program, aims to help make “Riyadh one of the ten largest city economies” in the world.

Founded in 1913, the French firm has had a regional presence for more than 40 years, specializing in the manufacture and installation of prefabricated demountable partitions. Its first project in Saudi Arabia was with Aramco in the 1970s and the firm extended its regional presence via the undertaking of airport projects and numerous educational buildings and corporate offices all over the Gulf area.

Today, the Clestra Hauserman Group has offices in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman.

“At Clestra, we develop and design our products from scratch, then completely fit out empty buildings from zero to completion,” Habbas told Arab News. “Our work extends to maintenance and after-sales services for all our clients, where we can be on-site for any adjustments needed within 24 hours.”

Habbas said what makes their products special is their move-and-removability, and likened it to the moveable block system made by Lego — the size of partitions can easily be adjusted by adding or removing panels.

“We’re not just selling a product, we’re selling a solution. We believe that Saudi Arabia is in need of the type of flexibility we can bring with our products and expertise, and not to mention the sustainable aspect of reusing our partitions again and again.”

One of their notable projects is at King Saud University, which has more than 200 kilometers of partitions made by the French firm that have been in use for more than 40 years — which speaks to the durability of the product, the secret of which lies in steel and aluminum.

Habbas added that the firm has plans to open a small factory in the first stage, followed a by a larger one in the second, in addition to carrying out workshops that aims to provide knowledge, expertise and training to employees, a move that should provide many jobs.

Fahad Al-Rasheed, CEO of the Royal Commission for Riyadh City said that by 2030 the regional headquarters program will contribute $18 billion to the local economy and create around 30,000 new jobs.

Since the announcement of the Saudi Vision 2030, as well as plans such as the Riyadh Strategy 2030 and the National Investment Strategy, the metropolis has flourished into a regional hub for businesses, trade and plentiful investment opportunities.


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Saudi crude oil exports fall 1% in March, biggest monthly decline in year: JODI

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Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports fell by 72,000 barrels per day (bpd), or 1 percent month-on-month in March, data from the Joint Organisations Data Initiative, also known as JODI, reveal. 

Exports decreased to 7.235 million bpd from 7.307 million bpd in February. The decline is the biggest since March 2021 when exports fell 3.5 percent.

As for the volumes of crude oil output, it has continued to grow for the eleventh month in a row. The output grew by 75,000 bpd in March to 10.300 million bpd. Production rose by 0.7 percent from 10.225 million bpd in February. 


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Wheat prices surged to a record high on Monday after India decided to ban exports of the commodity as a heatwave hit production.

The price — which was already high in the wake of Russia’s invasion of major wheat exporter Ukraine — jumped to 435 euros ($453) per ton as the European market opened.
 


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RIYADH: Saudi Tadawul Group’s stock gained in the afternoon trading session on Monday, despite the company posting lower first-quarter profit yesterday.

As of 2:04 p.m. Saudi time, the Kingdom’s bourse operator had seen its shares rise 3.15 percent to SR209.80 ($56), up from SR203.2 at the previous close.

The company reported lower profits yesterday, dropping 21 percent to SR141 million in the first quarter, from SR180 million for the same quarter last year.


Bahrain Central Bank oversubscribed its Sukuk Al-Salam securities

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RIYADH: The Central Bank of Bahrain’s monthly issue of Sukuk Al-Salam Islamic security has been oversubscribed by 184 percent. 

In total, it received subscriptions worth $209 million for the $114-million issue, which matures in 91 days, the central bank stated in a statement.

The Sukuk is expected to give a return of 2.30 percent on maturity on August 17, against its previous issue rate of 1.99 percent on April 13, 2022.

CBB issued the Sukuk Al-Salam on behalf of the Government of Bahrain.


Chinese battery supplier Calb adds more banks for its $1.5bn Hong Kong IPO: Bloomberg

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Chinese battery supplier Calb adds more banks for its $1.5bn Hong Kong IPO: Bloomberg

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RIYADH: Calb Co., a Chinese battery supplier for electric vehicle makers, has added more banks as it plans for its Hong Kong initial public offering that could raise as much as $1.5 billion, Bloomberg reported. 

It has selected Citigroup, Credit Suisse Group and JPMorgan Chase & Co. as joint global coordinators for its IPO, the report said citing people familiar with the matter. 

More banks can be picked for the deal as discussions are in progress, the people added. 

Calb’s $1.5 billion IPO could be one of Hong Kong’s biggest in 2022 upon its completion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. 

Founded in 2007, Calb operates major production bases in China and is specialized in the development, production and sales of lithium batteries for electric vehicles.