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General Holding to invest in expansion projects.

Abu Dhabi The Abu Dhabi government-owned General Holding Corporation (GHC) plans to invest Dh5.8 billion in expansion projects over the next four years in sectors including steel, aluminium and seamless pipes, Hussain Jasem Al Nowais, Chairman of GHC said here yesterday.

"The financing of these projects will be done through a combination of resources, including cash resources of GHC," Al Nowais told reporters at a news conference.

He said GHC has appointed BNP Paribas as the project finance adviser for Emirates Steel phase III expansion project for which $600 million (Dh2.2 billion) would be raised over its construction period. The project will be awarded this year, Al Nowais added.

M. Mukhtar Safi, GHC's chief financial officer, said Emirates Steel's installed capacity would expand to three million metric tonnes a year by the end of 2013 and would be boosted to 5 million tonnes a year with the coming on stream of phase III by 2015.

Currently, 30 per cent of Emirates Steel's output is exported.

Separately, Al Nowais said GHC is "studying an acquisition in the steel business". He didn't elaborate.

GHC's net profit increased to Dh1.5 billion in 2011 from Dh1.3 billion a year earlier, Al Nowais said. The company's revenues rose to Dh11.5 billion in 2011, compared to Dh9.9 billion the year before.


"The company grew its total assets over the past three years to Dh23.7 billion at the end of 2011 compared to Dh21.6 billion at the end of 2010. This represents a 30 per cent increase in assets which stood at Dh18.2 billion at the end of 2009," said Al Nowais.

Al Nowais highlighted the progress of the company's investments and portfolio with total industrial investments of Dh2.7 billion last year, compared to Dh2.5 billion in the same period the year before.

"[GHC] continues to generate strong cash flows from operating activities, enabling the self-funding of its industrial investments and the maintenance of a balanced leverage policy. The debt-to-equity ratio in 2011 was .92x compared to .95x in 2010." he added.

Al Nowais emphasised GHC's leading role in the development of the industrial sector in Abu Dhabi, in line with the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030, via its strategy of value added investments and commitment to job creation including attracting and developing national talent.

Last year, the company reached Emiratisation levels of 25 per cent, compared to 21 per cent in 2010 and now has a total work force of more than 18,000.

"The company is a leader in the industrial diversification of the economy of Abu Dhabi through new investments, establishing, developing and acquiring industrial companies and projects," said Al Nowais.

GHC owns a portfolio of companies.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Apr 22, 2012
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