Shapoorji Pallonji re-enters UAE with $599 mn projects

April 9th, 2008 - 8:48 pm ICT by admin  

(Gulf Business Capsule)

Dubai, April 9 (IANS) Leading Indian construction company Shapoorji Pallonji International FZE has re-entered the United Arab Emirates (UAE) market, with eight projects worth 2.2 billion dirhams ($599 million) set for delivery over the next two years. Mohan Dass Saini, managing director and chief executive of Shapoorji Pallonji International FZE, said the Dubai headquarters would “control” all the overseas operations of the Mumbai-based parent firm, Shapoorji Pallonji & Co Ltd, which owns 18 percent of Tata Sons, according to a report in the Khaleej Times.

“We have the potential to grow here in the Gulf region over the next five years,” Saini was quoted as saying.

The company also plans to enter Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia following its African presence in Mauritius and Ghana.

Among the company’s major projects in the UAE are the 800-million dirham ($218 million) Taj Palace in Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah and the five-star Fairmont Hotel worth 70 million dirhams ($19 million) in Abu Dhabi.

Shapoorji Pallonji was the first Indian construction company to enter the Middle East market in the 1970s, starting with operations in Oman.

It winded up in Dubai in the 1990s, however, when the prices of oil dropped in the world market.

Saini said the parent company aims to have a turnover of 3.67 billion dirhams ($1 billion) from its overseas operations over the next three years.

As of the year ending last month, the company’s total turnover grew 20 percent to 2.4 billion dirhams ($650 million), which Saini said would balloon to 9.2 billion dirhams ($2.5 billion) by 2011.


UAE firm acquires 88 percent of Singapore retail chain

UAE-based Al Futtaim group has acquired 88 percent stake in Robinson, a Singapore-based retail chain.

Al Futtaim, which has interests in trading, real estate and financial services, is offering 1.6 billion dirhams ($435 million)) for the firm and expects to complete the acquisition in a few weeks, according to local media reports.

“We expect to acquire about 95 percent of the company and eventually de-list it from the Singapore Stock Exchange,” G.T.N. Heine, group director of Al Futtaim Group, was quoted as saying.

The UAE group which started acquiring Robinson shares at S$6.50 raised the offer to $S7.2 on April 3. The cash bid was made through Al Futtaim Global Private Limited, an investment arm of the group.


UAE telecom operator’s global user base touches 63 mn

The UAE’s leading telecom services provider Etisalat has said the number of subscribers in its global network has touched 63 million.

“We intend to compete for the fixed line licence in Egypt, as this will represent a substantial added value to the company’s portfolio,” Etisalat chairman Mohammad Hasan Omran told the Gulf News.

“We also have massive plans to expand in Africa, as we are extending our operations in Tanzania up to two million subscribers by the end of 2008, compared to the present 800,000 subscribers,” he said.

He said Asia is also on his radar, where the company is studying opportunities to enter the Indian and Vietnamese markets, given that the operations prove feasible.

“The Indian market in particular is characterized by strong growth prospects, and we are already holding negotiations with a number of Indian companies to establish a strategic partnership that will give us a strong foothold in this huge market,” Omran said.

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