By Nasser Mutair (with photos) TUNIS, June 7 (KUNA) -- A major Kuwaiti investment company has substantially expanded its operations in this north African Arab country with recents deals worth millions of US dollars, and seeks to gain a marked foothold on the local banking arena.
KIPCO, Kuwait Projects Company, which encompasses several investment branches and operations, made a major stride on the path of broadening its operations with the new North Africa Holding Company, founded sixth months ago. A week ago, the latter won a tender to buy 51 percent of stakes of the Tunisian Eelectromechanic Industries.
The USD 4.6 million transaction is a concrete example how KIPCO is seeking to bolster its investment operations in Tunisia, said Mas'oud Hayat, the managing director of the Bahrain-based United Gulf Bank, an affiliate of the group, in remarks to KUNA.
The holding company is currently pondering tenders for privatization of the Tunisian-Kuwaiti Bank and the Tunisian-French bank. The winning of these tenders, if it materializes, will be a further step in this direction, said Al-Hayat, who made the statement on the 25th anniversary of forming the International Tunisian Bank, another affiliate of KIPCO.
The Kuwaiti group is seeking to use its experience at home and the Gulf region, namely in the sectors of medical services, real-estate, investments and housing, to hunt for new investment opportunities in Tunisia and other countries in northern Africa.
KIPCO, of a 10,000-strong workforce in its web of operations worldwide, was incorporated in 1975. Since then, the company has grown substantially and made significant investments in diversified portfolios of companies. (end) nm.rk KUNA 071150 Jun 07NNNN