Egypt Kuwait Holding buys 5% of Petrodar


An affiliate of Egypt Kuwait Holding signed an agreement to buy a 5 per cent stake in the Sudanese oil company Petrodar for $400 million, the company said on Tuesday.

A company statement sent to the Egyptian stock exchange said its subsidiary Tri Ocean signed the agreement with Sudanese state-owned company Sudapet, which is one of the shareholders of Petrodar.

Petrodar has a 74,000 square kilometre (29,000 square mile) concession in Sudan, with confirmed oil reserves of more than 1 billion barrels and daily production of 200,000 barrels, it added.

"Oil is transported to Port Sudan to be exported through a giant 1,300 kilometre pipeline, also owned by Petrodar," Mohamed Al Ansary, the managing director of Tri Ocean was quoted in the statement as saying.

Other Petrodar shareholders include Chinese companies Sinopec and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), and Malaysia's Petronas Carigali.

Egypt Kuwait Holding, the investment arm of the Kuwaiti Kharafi group in Egypt, has diverse holdings in the fertiliser, energy, insurance and agriculture sectors and holds 76.86 per cent of Tri Ocean. In addition to Egypt Kuwait Holding, another Kharafi affiliate owns about 10 per cent of Tri Ocean. The Commercial International Bank owns 14 per cent.

Egypt Kuwait Holding, which posted an 85 per cent jump in consolidated net profit in 2007 to $104.03 million, said last month that Tri Ocean had made a significant oil discovery in Egypt in the North Shadwan Concession located in the Gulf of Suez.

Shares in the company, which has a market capitalisation of about $3 billion, were trading 1.2 per cent higher at $4.34 by 0915 GMT. (Reuters)