DEVELOPMENT

Kuwait private sector investment firm Kipco plans US$5b real estate project

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 September, 2015, 11:17pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 September, 2015, 11:17pm

Kuwait Projects Co (Kipco), the country's largest private sector investment firm, is planning a US$5 billion real estate scheme on the outskirts of Kuwait City, the company's vice-chairman said.

The 380,000 sq metre project was planned for the al-Daiya area where several foreign embassies were located, Faisal al-Ayyar told the al-Qabas newspaper.

It is set to include residential and commercial spaces, as well as infrastructure such as roads, parks, walkways and electricity.

United Real Estate, a unit of Kipco, would be responsible for implementation, along with other unnamed entities, Ayyar said.

Kipco aims to present its plans to regulators in the coming days and to begin implementation this year.

"The project is considered the largest and most important in Kuwait, especially in the real estate sector, Ayyar said.

He acknowledged concerns about bureaucracy, noting that Kipco's successful bid to develop Abdullah al-Ahmed Street a decade ago was later cancelled by parliament.

The company was hoping for the best from national authorities given the size of the al-Daiya project, he said.

Beyond Kuwait, Ayyar said most of Kipco's investments were on track, including in high-risk markets Egypt, Syria and Iraq.

"Even in Iraq, with severe turbulence, our companies are profitable," he said.

He expressed optimism that subsidiary Burgan Bank would continue turning profits in Turkey, despite uncertainty over parliamentary elections and a declining Turkish lira.

In July, Kipco reported a 17.5 per cent rise in second-quarter net profit to 13.4 million dinars (HK$343 million).

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