|Economic news in brief
|Abraaj Capital appoints new COO |
Abraaj Capital, the leading private equity firm in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, has announced the promotion of Simon Davies to Chief Operating Officer (COO) with immediate effect. Davies, who has served as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Abraaj since 2002, will now oversee operations at one of the region’s most established asset management companies. Arif Naqvi, CEO and Executive Vice Chairman of Abraaj Capital said: “The appointment of Simon Davies to the key position of COO highlights our ongoing commitment to excellence in the field of private equity, and to the strength of our own existing management team. As CFO for the past four years, Simon has made a significant contribution to the growth of Abraaj; now, in his new role, he will focus his energies across the entire spectrum of everything we do. Commenting on his appointment, Davies said: “I look forward to devoting my energies to this new challenge at Abraaj Capital. The firm has now clearly established itself as the leading private equity player in the wider region.”
LG brings hope to Jordanian children
Stemming from the successes that LGE witnessed in its Hope Campaign last year, the company launched on Oct. 15 this year’s edition of the campaign under the patronage of Korean Ambassador Mr Y. S. Shin. This voluntary healthcare initiative provided reconstructive surgery for children suffering from cleft lip, palate and other facial deformities. At a press conference, two days after the campaign’s launch, it was announced that a medical team of both Korean and Jordanian specialists had performed reconstructive surgery for 20 Jordanian children whose families were otherwise unable to afford the costs of the surgery at their own expense. The reconstructive surgeries were performed at the Jordan University Hospital and their success brought a promise of a healthier quality of life for both the children involved and their families. General Manager of LGE Amman Branch, Mr T. Y. Lee, said, “We at LGE are very proud of the positive results we have achieved during the two-day campaign. We are not just providers of high quality consumer electronics and cutting edge technological solutions; we are also proactive players in Jordan’s journey towards future development.”
Fusion introduces Efonica VoIP service in Jordan
Fusion (AMEX: FSN), a global VoIP service provider, announced on Monday that its Efonica Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) products and services will soon be available in Jordan with the creation of Fusion Jordan. With a population of over five million and nearly 400 percent growth of Internet users over the past five years, Jordan represents a key market experiencing dramatic growth among Internet communities in the Middle East. “We are very pleased to begin operations in Jordan in the near future,” said Roger Karam, President of Fusion’s VoIP division and CEO of Efonica. “We believe our Efonica suite of advanced VoIP products and services will deliver exceptional value and performance to the people of Jordan and Jordanian communities around the world.” Fusion has been successful in growing its international subscriber community due to Efonica’s innovations, ease of use and cost-effective products and services. The worldwide Internet area code™, developed by Fusion, is providing a simple and universal method for Efonica customers to retain existing calling patterns and place calls by simply adding “10” to the beginning of existing landline or mobile telephone numbers. “With Fusion Jordan, we plan to increase sales of Efonica through our established and growing network of distribution partners,” Karam added.
Tamleek raises capital to JD25M
Tamleek Real Estate’s Extraordinary General Assembly agreed during its September meeting to raise the company’s capital to JD25 million. This decision was made in response to the demands dictated by the high scale operations that the firm is handling at the moment. The decision followed a similar one made 6 months prior to this meeting during which the private shareholding company’s capital was raised from JD1.4 million to JD20 million. At present, the firm handles several real estate and investment projects located in Amman and other areas in Jordan. Details pertaining to these projects and their nature will be announced in the near future. Chairman and CEO of Tamleek, Mr Mu’ayad Al-Dabbas, said, “This decision is certainly a valid and important one for Tamleek Real Estate at this stage, since we are currently working on several real estate projects in the country. We feel that our operations define Tamleek’s development and its history, for we see ourselves as providers of real-estate projects that respond to the demands of the people, and the demands of the Jordanian market’s corporate and housing needs.”
A growth rate of 21 percent HBTF profits surpass JD100M
The Housing Bank for Trade & Finance (HBTF) pre-tax profits amounted to JD100.6 million during the first nine months of 2006, with a growth rate of 21 percent compared with the same period of previous year. Chairman of HBTF’s board of directors, Dr Michel Marto, confirmed that these results were achieved due to the growth of operating activities in all domestic and regional sectors, as a result of growing customer confidence and the bank’s commitment to provide full banking products and services at high quality. Marto added, “These distinctive results are consistent with the Bank’s strategy in achieving sustained growth in profits together with continuous improvement in asset quality. Total assets reached JD4 billion on Sept. 30, 2006, with a growth rate of 26 percent. Credit facilities’ portfolio amounted to JD1,551 million, a growth of 23 percent, while customer deposits grew by 14 percent to JD2,712 million. Marto indicated that all activities and financial indicators of HBTF showed significant growth and reflected exceptional performance by the bank, as a result of the diversification of revenues, expansion of activities, risk management and meeting customer needs. Moreover, “Capital Intelligence” Rating Agency raised in its recent report, the financial strength rating of the Bank from BBB+ to A-, which is the highest among Jordanian banks.
DAMAC sells out ‘Heights’ and ‘Loft’
Luxury lifestyle provider and the region’s leading private sector developer, DAMAC Properties, has completely sold out two out of four projects worth $150 million within the stunning Abdali area of Amman in record time. “The Heights” is a 35-storey tower, and “The Loft” is an 8-storey residential development adjacent to the tower. “The Heights” was sold out in two months and “The Loft” project in less than a month. “We are very pleased to have completely sold two out of our four projects in Jordan. These projects are true masterpieces as they exude grace and style and will stand out as one of the most luxurious and elegantly designed projects within Abdali, Amman’s vibrant new downtown area. Our highly ambitious plan for Jordan includes a number of real estate ventures that we plan to unveil within the near future,” said Peter Riddoch, CEO at DAMAC. “Our presence in Abdali stems from our belief in the extremely vibrant and dynamic master plan that is due to become a true hub for business and tourism for many nationalities throughout the region and beyond,” commented Riddoch. …and appoints EHTIRAF for sales An agreement between Jordan Professional Enterprise Ltd. (EHTIRAF) and DAMAC Properties for the appointment of EHTIRAF as sales agent for DAMAC was signed early October 2006. The agreement was signed on behalf of “DAMAC” by Director of Sales Mr Ziad Hinnawi, and on behalf of EHTIRAF by its chairman Mr Eyas Ghoul and its CEO Mr Ayman Al-Mufleh.