Cityscape Kuwait to host free-to-at­tend sem­i­nars

Ex­perts to re­veal tech­niques to max­i­mize ROI

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

KUWAIT: For the first time, those peo­ple in­ter­ested in real es­tate in­vest­ment, will have the op­por­tu­nity to learn the tech­niques of how to build an in­ter­na­tional property port­fo­lio, through free-to-at­tend sem­i­nars, as part of the up­com­ing Cityscape Kuwait. The event is held un­der the pa­tron­age of His High­ness Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Ha­mad AlSabah, Prime Min­is­ter of the State of Kuwait, on 9 - 11 De­cem­ber 2015, at the Kuwait In­ter­na­tional Fair­grounds.

In ad­di­tion to the lo­cal mar­ket, the Cityscape Kuwait In­vest­ment Se­ries will also pro­vide at­ten­dees with in­sights on those global real es­tate mar­kets offering at­trac­tive op­por­tu­ni­ties for Kuwaiti in­vestors. Par­tic­u­lar fo­cus will be on Tur­key, UAE, UK, Ger­many, US and Saudi Ara­bia.

Shai Za­ma­nian, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor at STEP Amer­ica, a forth­com­ing speaker this De­cem­ber ex­plains “In­vest­ment sym­po­siums like Cityscape be­come in­te­gral as global mar­kets con­tinue to ex­pand. Es­tab­lished and now emerg­ing in­vestors need a fo­rum in which to gain new mar­ket insight, ex­change ideas on trade, and to pros­per be­yond es­tab­lished bor­ders.”

Fel­low speaker John Ak­thar, Di­rec­tor at Ox­ford Ac­qui­si­tions con­cludes; “Cityscape Kuwait is the place to meet lead­ers in real es­tate, get ad­vice that mat­ters and dis­cover in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

Along­side the In­vest­ment Se­ries pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for in­vestors, the Cityscape Kuwait Busi­ness Fo­rum will be a plat­form for more than 200 in­dus­try de­ci­sion makers and gov­ern­ment to ad­dress per­ti­nent is­sues for the Kuwait real es­tate mar­ket, in­clud­ing the im­pact of low oil prices on real es­tate, com­mer­cial property in­vest­ment, REITS, and the lat­est in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties by re­gion and sec­tor.

Chair­man of the Kuwait Real Es­tate Union and con­firmed speaker Taw­fikh Al-Jar­rah states; “The gov­ern­ment of Kuwait has signed a $13 bil­lion mega con­struc­tion project to build a new re­fin­ery which is poised to cre­ate 45,000 new jobs.”

“The project has been in the pipe­line for a long time, and once com­pleted, the 615,000-bar­rel-a-day re­fin­ery will be the largest fa­cil­ity of its kind built in a sin­gle phase. The fact that it has fi­nally been awarded shows a com­mit­ment to de­liv­er­ing on long-de­layed projects. It is im­por­tant that this mo­men­tum con­tin­ues and progress is made with util­i­ties, trans­port and hous­ing pro­grams.”

Pub­lic hous­ing

Shar­ifa Al-Shal­fan, Re­search Fel­low at the Lon­don School of Eco­nomics Kuwait Pro­gram and an­other forth­com­ing speaker at the Busi­ness Fo­rum agrees that the coun­try’s real es­tate fo­cus should now be on ac­tion. “As Kuwait faces an un­prece­dented wait­ing list for pub­lic hous­ing, and other real es­tate unattain­able to most, it be­comes cru­cial to re­think its hous­ing dis­tri­bu­tion poli­cies and ur­ban de­vel­op­ment ap­proach for the fu­ture.”

Shar­ifa will be ex­plor­ing Kuwaiti hous­ing poli­cies dur­ing her pre­sen­ta­tion on day one of the Busi­ness Fo­rum, which is tak­ing place on the 9th and 10th of De­cem­ber dur­ing the Cityscape Kuwait Ex­hi­bi­tion.

The Fo­rum is a chance for real es­tate de­vel­op­ers, bro­kers, in­sti­tu­tional in­vestors and other rel­e­vant in­dus­try in­sid­ers to net­work, ini­ti­ate new re­la­tion­ships, and en­hance one’s knowl­edge, through key top­ics in­clud­ing the im­pact of the oil prices on Kuwait based real es­tate in­vest­ments, a high pro­file is­sue made more prob­lem­atic by the ris­ing cost of raw ma­te­ri­als.

But while Kuwait’s real es­tate in­dus­try has wit­nessed its share of chal­lenges in 2015, vi­able sources main­tain that the coun­try com­pares fa­vor­ably with other key GCC mar­kets as it has man­aged to re­main ex­empt from the kind of ‘lev­el­ling off’ that Saudi Ara­bia, Qatar and the UAE are cur­rently ex­pe­ri­enc­ing.

Walid Al-Az­zaz, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of Al-En­maa Real Es­tate, ex­plains: “The eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal con­di­tions have had a very neg­a­tive im­pact on some real es­tate mar­kets in the re­gion, yet what dis­tin­guishes the lo­cal Kuwaiti real es­tate mar­ket from oth­ers in the Gulf re­gion is that its main driver is the lo­cal in­vestor.”

Kuwait’s po­ten­tial is fur­ther boosted by it hav­ing the fi­nan­cial power to ful­fil grow­ing lo­cal de­mand for new devel­op­ments. If it con­tin­ues to de­liver on ma­jor projects, ex­perts pre­dict that it could be­come the third largest mar­ket in the re­gion within the next five years.

Cityscape Kuwait will take place at Kuwait In­ter­na­tional Fair­grounds on 911 De­cem­ber 2015, with the sup­port of Of­fi­cial Bank­ing Spon­sor Na­tional Bank of Kuwait, Plat­inum Spon­sor Al­Hamra Real Es­tate De­vel­op­ment, and Gold Spon­sors Al-Mar­jan Is­land and Al-Mazaya Hold­ing Com­pany. DUBAI: An in­ter­na­tional ar­bi­tra­tion tri­bunal in Lon­don, rul­ing in a dis­pute that has lasted six years, or­dered the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment (KRG) in Iraq to pay $1.98 bil­lion to a con­sor­tium in­clud­ing Dana Gas, the com­pany said yes­ter­day.

The tri­bunal of the Lon­don Court of In­ter­na­tional Ar­bi­tra­tion di­rected that the pay­ment be made within 28 days. The judg­ment is fi­nal, bind­ing and in­ter­na­tion­ally en­force­able, Dana said in a state­ment to the Abu Dhabi stock ex­change.

If en­forced, the award could have a ma­jor im­pact on the for­tunes of United Arab Emi­rates-based Dana and other nat­u­ral gas firms op­er­at­ing in Iraqi Kur­dis­tan, as well as on the KRG, whose fi­nances have been strained by its fight against Is­lamic State mil­i­tants.

Dana’s share price soared its 15 per­cent daily limit yes­ter­day. Later in the day, how­ever, the KRG is­sued its own state­ment say­ing Dana’s de­scrip­tion of the rul­ing was mis­lead­ing and in­com­plete.

“This is a par­tial award that does not fi­nally de­ter­mine all is­sues in the ar­bi­tra­tion, and leaves many is­sues unresolved,” the KRG said, adding that it would con­tinue pur­su­ing claims against Dana and af­fil­i­ates “in all ap­pro­pri­ate fora”. The KRG added that it still had counter-claims worth over $3 bil­lion against Dana, and that the tri­bunal would hear th­ese claims in the next phase of ar­bi­tra­tion.

In 2007, Kur­dis­tan awarded Dana and the UAE’s Cres­cent Petroleum a 25-year deal to de­velop the Khor Mor and Chem­chamal gas fields. Aus­tria’s OMV and Hun­gary’s MOL sub­se­quently each took 10 per­cent of the ven­ture. But the project be­came en­tan­gled in a dis­pute over le­gal rights to the fields and al­le­ga­tions that the con­sor­tium had been un­der­paid for con­den­sate and liq­ue­fied petroleum gas prod­ucts sup­plied from Khor Mor.

The con­sor­tium filed an in­ter­na­tional ar­bi­tra­tion case in Lon­don in Oc­to­ber 2013. Le­gal ac­tion has also taken place in other courts; last week, Dana said the Bri­tish High Court had or­dered the KRG to pay the con­sor­tium $100 mil­lion within 14 days.

“The clear rights of the con­sor­tium to both fields for long-term de­vel­op­ment and pro­duc­tion, in­clud­ing ti­tle, and of course pay­ment, have now been con­firmed be­yond any doubt,” Ma­jid Ja­far, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Cres­cent and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Dana’s board, told Reuters yes­ter­day.

“Af­ter al­most seven years de­lay caused by this un­nec­es­sary dis­pute, we hope that with re­spect for con­tract we will now fi­nally be able to move for­ward and pre­vent fur­ther losses for all sides by de­vel­op­ing th­ese world class re­sources as orig­i­nally en­vis­aged for the ben­e­fit of Kur­dis­tan and all of Iraq, as well as the wider re­gion.” Dana said it had fur­ther, sub­stan­tial dam­age claims for wrong­fully de­layed de­vel­op­ment of the gas fields that would be heard in 2016, along with the KRG’s counter-claims.

It said the con­sor­tium had so far in­vested over $1.2 bil­lion in the project and pro­duced the equiv­a­lent of over 150 mil­lion bar­rels of gas and petroleum liq­uids. —Reuters

Shai Za­ma­nian

Taw­fikh Al-Jar­rah

Shar­ifa Al-Shal­fan

John Ak­thar

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