Apr 26 2012
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Saudi construction sector keeps growing
"Saudi Arabia is a very good market for us, we have in excess of five billion in work already at hand and there is a greater shortage in Saudi Arabia in infrastructure, residential and housing," Ziad Makhzoumi told reporters Wednesday on the sidelines of a conference in Dubai.
"Saudi Arabia is still the biggest market in size and Abu Dhabi has always been a big market but in the past few years things have slowed down for many reasons, but we are beginning to see a trend, projects are being awarded so we are confident the Abu Dhabi market will again become an important market," he added.
The Dubai-based construction firm is also expected to benefit from Abu Dhabi-based Aabar Investments' increasing interest in Arabtec .
Aabar earlier this month raised its stake in Arabtec to more than 10 percent, making it the single largest shareholder in the Dubai-based company. It had scrapped a deal in 2010 to take a majority stake in Arabtec .
Makhzoumi added there are also opportunities in Dubai though most of the growth is expected in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.
The company is bidding for billions of dirhams in contracts in Saudi Arabia alone and now is a good time for governments to proceed with projects as costs are technically cheaper and funds are available, Makhzoumi said. "Now is the best time to do it with the prices of oil and gas being so high," he added.
The Arabtec CFO however doesn't expect a substantial change in results until the second half of this year, as lots of projects were delayed.
"Now the projects are starting again things should pick up," Makhzoumi said.
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