Archive for September, 2012

September 30, 2012   Posted by: Indy

Gulf investors eye Premier League for Leeds Utd

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

The Dubai-based firm leading a proposed takeover of English football club Leeds United have said they aim to get the club back into the Premier League “as soon as possible”.

Senior executives at GFH Capital said the club had “great potential” with the “right, sustainable investment”.

In a statement published by the UK’s Yorkshire Evening Post newspaper, the company underlined its commitment to reach a deal to acquire a majority stake from current chairman and owner Ken Bates.

“(GFH Capital’s) intentions, if successful in its acquisition, is to move the club back to the Premier League as quickly as possible and help to build a sustainable future for the club, both on and off the field,” the statement, cited by the newspaper, said.

David Haigh, GFH Capital’s deputy chief executive officer, added: “As a club, Leeds United has it all – passionate fans, a great heritage and masses of potential to return to the Premier League with the right, sustainable investment.

“From a business perspective, ownership of an English football club, notably Leeds United, is a great opportunity if the right strategies are in place.”

The statement came after Gulf Finance House – the Bahraini investment bank which owns GFH Capital – confirmed that GFH Capital was fronting takeover negotiations with the club.

Discussions between the two parties have been ongoing since May.

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September 30, 2012   Posted by: Indy

Abu Dhabi launches new $7.1bn Khalifa Port

Ever Dynamic, from Evergreen Line docks at the new Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi.

Ever Dynamic, from Evergreen Line docks at the new Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi launched operations at a multi-billion dollar port facility on Saturday 1st September, seeking to diversify its oil-based economy with a project that could intensify competition for the region’s shipping traffic with neighbouring emirate Dubai.

Abu Dhabi Ports Co (ADPC) said Khalifa Port, built on a man-made island in the Taweelah area, and its adjacent Khalifa Industrial Zone would together be two-thirds the size of Singapore when fully built.

Khalifa Port’s container terminal currently has an annual capacity of 2.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU). This can be raised to 5 million TEU according to demand over the next few years. Abu Dhabi has said its long-term goal is to increase it to 15 million by 2030, depending on demand.

The port can also handle 12 million tons of general cargo annually in the first phase, including 4 million tons from an Emirates Aluminium berth that opened in 2010.

Khalifa Port will gradually take over all container traffic from Abu Dhabi’s existing Mina Zayed port, which has reached its capacity of 1 million TEUs.

“Over four to six months we hope to complete the migration of all traffic that goes into Mina Zayed to the new port,” said Douglas. Mina Zayed will continue handling some commercial cargo and concentrate on developing a cruise liner business.

Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, is investing billions of dollars in infrastructure, real estate and tourism to diversify its economy. In shipping, the obvious challenge to its growth comes from Dubai, whose much larger Jebel Ali port is only about 40km north along the coast.

Last December DP World , the world’s third-largest port operator and owner of Jebel Ali, said it would invest $850 million over three years to boost the port’s capacity by 4 million TEU to 19 million.

Both companies have dismissed suggestions that they could end up competing for market share. ADPC maintains that Khalifa is a destination port, unlike Jebel Ali which focuses on transhipments to other ports.

“We are still growing to the extent of 7 to 9 percent this year. Also, what we foresee in terms of productivity being expanded in basic industries like aluminium and others will bring more capacity on line, and that will drive our growth,” said Martijn Van De Linde, chief executive of Abu Dhabi Terminals.

Noting that the export-import ratio at Mina Zayed was about 80 to 20, he said Khalifa’s growth would be driven by exports.

“Industries based here are now starting to produce and export to China, Europe, Mediterranean and other regions. So our growth is being driven by exports and we have healthy imports as well.”

However, the unstable global economic climate could pose challenges for both Abu Dhabi and Dubai. DP World posted flat half-year profits on Wednesday and said uncertainty in the world economy was slowing growth of the industry.

Within the UAE, Dubai has taken the lead in areas including aviation, tourism and trade but Abu Dhabi is gaining momentum in those industries on the back of its oil-based wealth. Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, launched in 2003, is competing aggressively with well-established Emirates in aviation.


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September 14, 2012   Posted by: Indy

Abu Dhabi’s Man City to start Academy project

Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, owner of Manchester City.

Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, owner of Manchester City.

Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City on Friday announced that work is about to start on the the club’s new Football Academy, a key part of the investment made by Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

BAM Construction has been selected as the construction partner, the club said on its website.

“This is a landmark project for the Club. City are to build a state of the art youth development and first team training facility on an 80 acre site adjacent to the Etihad Stadium,” it said.

BAM will begin work on the plot, which forms part of the Etihad Campus, in the coming weeks and are due to complete the project in time for the 2014/15 Premier League season.

Courtesy of Arabian Business


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