Qatar Barwa is looking for global expansion…

Barwa Real Estate Group said the company has plans this year to expand its operations internationally, although its top priority is to focus on the majority of its investments in Qatar.

Barwa board of director Mohamad Abdulaziz Saad al-Saad spoke to the local newspaper Gulf Times on behalf of the company’s chairman, Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser al-Ali, and said the majority of its investments will be poured in Qatar “although there would be international projects [in the pipeline].”

“We are studying now which regions to be taken into consideration, but the idea is to focus on Qatar,” said al-Saad, after the election of the company’s new board of directors, held during its Annual General Assembly Meeting yesterday.

He added: “The second part is international expansion, although it is not going to be in comparison with our local plans; it is going to be very small, but yet, it is still a key and very important tool in our continued operations, particularly from a diversification perspective.”

Al-Saad also stressed that while the company is geared on pouring investments in the country, Barwa will not compete with “smaller” industry players.

“Our goal is not to compete with smaller real estate firms and other industry players, but to focus on doing larger projects that are beneficial to the overall industry and to the continuation of the Qatar National Vision 2030.”

In his financial report, al-Ali announced that the company has increased its net profit for 2013 due to “solid financial and operating performance.” Al-Ali also said the company’s net profit increased to QR1.3mn with QR3.53 per share last year from QR1.1mn with QR2.92 per share recorded in 2012.

Al-Ali’s report also revealed that Barwa was able to cut on general and administrative expenditure from QR431mn in 2012 to QR396mn in 2013. He added that the real estate firm was able to reduce liabilities from QR37bn in 2012 to QR30bn last year.

Barwa, according to al-Ali, was also able to achieve sustainable cost savings from management’s implementation of “good financial discipline and successful capital recycling.”

He also announced that Barwa City has achieved 86% occupancy, while the Barwa Al Saad, Barwa Village and Masken projects have maintained more than 95% occupancy.

Al-Ali also underscored the following achievements: 100% occupancy of the residential units and 50% occupancy at Barwa Commercial Avenue; 75% completion of the workers’ accommodation at Barwa Al Baraha Phase 1 and its expected 90% occupancy by year end; and the QR1.94bn worth of projects under construction and some QR3.79bn projects in the pipeline at Al Aqaria industrial area, among others.

For 2014, al-Ali said: “Barwa has an exciting land bank of opportunities, which are being assessed to identify the best use of the company’s assets with the aim of maximising shareholder value. It is progressing with the development of Barwa Al Baraha Phase 2, which is an extension of current Baraha Phase 1.”

He added: “Both phases will accommodate 53,000 workers and is considered the largest workers’ accommodation in Qatar and the GCC. The project also reflects Barwa’s strategy towards developing innovative solutions and supporting the Qatar National Vision 2030 by contributing towards the country’s urban development.”

Barwa elects new board of directors

Barwa Real Estate Group elected a new set of board of directors, which was the highlight of the firm’s Annual General Assembly Meeting held yesterday.

The general assembly was presided over by Barwa chairman of the board Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser al-Ali, who delivered the company’s financial report followed by a brief interaction between the board and shareholders.

The meeting was concluded with the election of Barwa’s new board of directors, where 14 applicants competed for four seats in the board.

The new board members are Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa al-Thani, representing Milaha Company; Mohamed Ibrahim Mohamed Yaqoub al-Sulaiti; Mohamed Abdulaziz Saad al-Saad; and Abdullah Abdulaziz Nasir al-Atiyya, representing Aludaid Real Estate Investment Company.

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