PROJECTS: Deals won by Kuwaiti firms dip due to Coronavirus

Over 50 percent were oil contracts in 2020

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. A labourer wearing a protective face mask, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), carries materials on a construction site in Ahmadi, Kuwait March 28, 2020.

Image used for illustrative purpose. A labourer wearing a protective face mask, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), carries materials on a construction site in Ahmadi, Kuwait March 28, 2020.

REUTERS/Stephanie McGehee

The spread of Coronavirus and the ensuing economic lockdown depressed contracts awarded by the government to local companies by nearly 25 percent in 2020.

The total value of contracts won by firms listed on the local bourse declined to around 900 million Kuwaiti dinars ($2.97 billion) in 2020 from nearly 1.2 billion dinars ($3.96 billion) in 2019, the Arabic language daily Alanba said, citing official data.

The report, however, showed the number of contracts increased to 60 last year and were awarded to 16 companies compared with 50 deals won by 14 firms in 2019.

A breakdown showed the first quarter of 2020 accounted for nearly 40 percent of the total annual deals with a value of 350 million dinars ($1.15 billion) before the full outbreak of the pandemic in the Gulf state that controls the world's sixth largest proven oil deposits.

The value started to shrink in the following quarters to reach its lowest quarterly level of around 130 million dinars ($429 million) in the third quarter when the lockdown was widened to most economic sectors.

The Combined Group Contracting Company had the lion's share of the 2020 contracts, seizing deals worth nearly 215 million dinars ($709.5 million), according to the report.

It showed the government-owned Kuwait Oil Company was the biggest contract provider, awarding 12 deals with a combined value of 345 million dinars (1.138 billion), nearly 38 percent of the total contracts awarded in 2020.

It was followed by the Public Works Ministry and the Kuwait National Petroleum Company, according to the report which showed the value of oil and gas contracts awarded in 2020 stood at 466 million dinars ($1.54 billion), more than half the total value.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)

(anoop.menon@refinitiv.com)

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