Al Qudra to ride confidence wave with IPO in 2008

LOOKING AHEAD Al Qudra CEO Salah Al Shamsi said the share issue plan reflects the confidence of the company (AFP)

 
Al Qudra Holding will net profits of just over Dh637 million by the end of this year as the company prepares for an IPO in the first quarter of 2008, said CEO and Delegate Member Salah Al Shamsi.

 
He said profits made by the company by the end of last year were around the same figure.

Al Qudra Holding consists of 30 companies working in property, transport, infrastructure and industry.

Al Shamsi stopped short of specifying the share to be offered, but said the company will probably go public in February.

Al Qudra is currently preparing for the share issue, and is keen to provide the highest degree of accuracy of data and statements to serve shareholders’ interest, said Al Shamsi. In an exclusive interview with Emirates Business 24|7, the CEO said Al Qudra Property will sign an agreement with the Yemeni Government over the coming days to build residential and office towers in the capital Sanaa.

Al Shamsi said Al Qudra plans to explore more opportunities in the promising sectors of property, infrastructure, transport and services.

He said the company can be a strong regional player in commercial aviation as part of future plans, adding it was too early to go into details. Al Qudra also plans to enter the property financing market in Abu Dhabi.

Al Shamsi said Al Qudra has well-established principles of enforcing transparency in all company operations and introducing latest management, and electronic techniques to daily work.

And Hawkama rules are applied to allow swift disclosure of company results, projects and budgets in an accurate manner and proper timing, said Al Shamsi.

Hawkama is the Institute for Corporate Governance set up by a group of international institutions, including the Dubai International Financial Centre.

Al Shamsi said the IPO follows the two-year time frame given by regulators to private companies to go public.

He said the share issue plan reflects the confidence Al Qudra has managed to build since its inception in mid-2005.

The firm’s exceptional growth rates as well as high levels of profit have been beyond expectation, said Al Shamsi. Added to this is the firm’s ability to expand its investment portfolio as a public company across diverse sectors, he added.

Al Shamsi said Al Qudra’s reputation as a strategic partner to business and projects is well known in the region and beyond. During the early start-up years, the company sought to conclude strategic partnerships with existing businesses and looked for firms to acquire. However, the situation has changed and it is investment opportunities that look for Al Qudra now, Al Shamsi said.

He said all businesses where Al Qudra is involved are successful and profitable, if not now but in the future.

Al Qudra is foreseeing profitable returns in the manufacturing industry in the coming years, Al Shamsi said. The sector needs time before it achieves financial gains given the time period for the production cycle, he said.

At the moment, property is the most prominent, most active and most profitable market, said Al Shamsi.

He said Al Qudra’s expansion has now covered Morocco, Algeria, Senegal, Syria, Egypt, Eritrea, Yemen and Mauritania. The CEO said the UAE’s political and economic ties with these countries formed the most important element in Al Qudra’s presence there.

Al Shamsi refrained from disclosing details of the firm’s growth outside the UAE, only saying it is on the increase.

He said Al Qudra is now exploring opportunities in India, Vietnam and China.

Al Shamsi said the property market in Abu Dhabi has been witnessing a shortage of supply for almost two years now against growing demand for homes in the middle-income category.

“This is a positive transformation which shows the opportunities Abu Dhabi has for investment, work and residence,” said Al Shamsi.

He added the changes will open numerous possibilities for private sector companies to bridge the gap between supply and demand.

Al Shamsi said stability will return to the property market with the completion of projects over the coming two to three years.

He said the right to benefit from realty projects for 99 years will greatly influence the establishment of a mature market. It will also support financing options that need to be further developed to meet demands of all sections of the population.

Al Shamsi said the recent amendments made to the company law will help businesses in the country, especially with the emergence of new types of firms such as holding companies.

Al Shamsi said successes made by Al Qudra Holding would not have been possible without the support of the country’s wise leadership.

He said the comprehensive vision of the UAE’s leaders to develop the industrial sector by providing the needed infrastructure led to growth.
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