KIPCO realigns operations of its Bahrain-based UGB
‘Strategic creation of two distinct lines of business’: Al-Ayyar
KIPCO - the Kuwait Projects Company (Holding) - has announced the realignment of the operational structure of its Bahrain-based subsidiary, United Gulf Bank (UGB). The realignment of the investment bank’s operations is proposed to result in the establishment of two distinct entities: UGB Holding (which will fully own the existing UGB), and UGB as a wholesale conventional bank governed by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB).
UGB Holding is proposed to be listed on the Bahrain Bourse, while UGB is proposed to be delisted. UGB Holding will ultimately fully own UGB and other core investments currently held under the bank, while in the final structure UGB will retain the regulated banking activities and will thus continue to hold its stake in the Kuwait-based KAMCO Investment Company as a subsidiary.
This realignment has been approved in principle by the CBB and is subject to the approval of shareholders and other regulatory authorities. Commenting on this matter, Faisal Al-Ayyar, KIPCO’s Vice Chairman (Executive), said: “KIPCO’s strategy to constantly seek ways to streamline our operations has kept us lean and efficient across the Group. The creation of a holding company listed on the Bahrain Bourse will allow UGB to focus its operations on investment banking as a core line of business. In turn, the holding company will hold the other investments, such as UGB’s stakes in Burgan Bank, United Real Estate, TAKAUD Savings and Pensions and other investments. The strategic creation of these two distinct lines of business will serve to enhance performance and increase efficiency down the line.”
The KIPCO Group is one of the biggest holding companies in the Middle East and North Africa, with consolidated assets of $33 billion as at 30 June 2017. The Group has significant ownership interests in over 60 companies operating across 24 countries. The group’s main business sectors are financial services, media, real estate and manufacturing. Through its core companies, subsidiaries and affiliates, KIPCO also has interests in the education and medical sectors. Faisal Al-Ayyar