CAIRO, (Reuters) – Egypt-based El Sewedy Cables SWDY.CA said on Monday it would build a $150 million power cable plant in Qatar with a local partner to tap surging Gulf Arab infrastructure spending.
The factory will have an annual production capacity of 30,000 tonnes, with most of it to be sold in the local market, and will start operating in the end of 2009 or early 2010, El Sewedy said in a statement.
“With the number of new infrastructure projects planned, we believe that our presence in Qatar is critical to enable us to capitalise on this growth potential,” Chief Executive Ahmed El Sewedy said.
El Sewedy, the largest publicly traded Arab cable producer, said it would own half of the project and Qatari-based Aamal Holding would own the rest.
It said 60 percent of the project would be financed with medium-term loans and the rest with equity. Imported machinery and raw materials that do not exist in Qatar would be exempted from custom duties, Sewedy said.
El Sewedy is currently building cable factories in Algeria and Saudi Arabia and expects operations in both to start during the second half of 2008.
The company posted a 78 percent increase in first-quarter net profit after tax and minority interest to 260 million Egyptian pounds ($48.6 million), with revenue from factories outside Egypt constituting 20 percent of total revenue, up from 12 percent in the first quarter of 2007. During the quarter El Sewedy increased its stake in the Slovenian electrical meter company Iskraemeco to 97.6 percent from the 68.3 percent stake it bought in November.
Shares in the company were trading 0.87 percent higher at 142.02 pounds by 0926 GMT.