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Kuwait's Agility plans $1bn fundraising to support expansion
November 19, 2015, 8:08 am

Kuwait's Agility, the largest Gulf Arab transport logistics company, plans to raise around $1 billion to fund future growth across its business, the chief executive told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.

The company is focusing on diversifying its business across emerging markets as low oil prices risk delaying some projects in the Middle East, said Tarek Sultan.

Agility is already present in around 100 countries and plans further expansion within the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the GCC and Africa, Sultan said.

"We have corporate requirements that could be in the neighbourhood of $1 billion and our other businesses are growing as well, have their own requirements and will seek to address them on a project by project basis," he said in an interview.

United Projects for Aviation Services Company, the commercial real estate development and facilities management arm of Agility, is working on a $1 billion shopping mall project in Abu Dhabi, Sultan said. Agility said in June it had agreed with a real estate subsidiary of National Real Estate Company to invest $225 million in the shopping mall.

Agility's bulk fuels storage, distribution and supply chain business required financing to meet plans to expand its ship capacity transporting refined products and gas, he said.

Africa is one of the areas of focus for the company, with Sultan saying in February it planned to spend $100 million this year on expansion in the continent.

He said he expected capital expenditure in Africa to be at a similar level next year, but could be higher if the pace of execution of projects it is working on accelerates.

"Going forward, from an oil and gas perspective there could be fewer projects. Having said that, if you look at energy and power projects, low oil prices are conducive to building more power plants so you could see an expansion of opportunities in the power sector, especially in Africa," he said.

Still, some of its projects in the oil and gas business may be hit by the slump in prices since June last year.

"We do a lot of work in the oil and gas industry so our project logistics business is likely to see projects delayed," he said.

At the same time, the flow of projects in the Middle East could also dry up as lower oil revenue lead governments to pull back on spending, he said.

Agility also owns a minority stake in Iraqi telecoms operator Korek. Iraq recently said last month it planned to sell a fourth mobile licence.

"I'm not sure a fourth licence will be economical to any bidder and I doubt it's viable," he said. "I don't believe it's necessary either given there are three operators already in place."

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