DOHA, (Reuters) – Qatari property developer Barwa Real Estate Co has laid off nearly 90 employees amid a restructuring move being pushed through by its new chief executive, two sources said on Thursday.
“The finance teams and legal teams have been decimated. An awful lot of these are expats,” a high-level source in Doha who is close to the company said, adding that the cuts were a direct result of the appointment of a new group Chief Executive Officer Mohammed Asad Al Emadi last month.
“There is a restructuring underway, and this is part of it,” another source who is familiar with the company said, declining to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.
The property developer did not issue a dividend when it reported earnings in February, despite posting an 84 percent increase in profit for 2010.
“There was no dividend issued when the 2010 results came out. That tells you something about the company. They’re looking very carefully at their books,” the first source said.
The cuts come at a time when many would expect the firm to be adding staff as Qatar launches a massive infrastructure build in preparation to host the 2022 World Cup.
Barwa, like other Gulf Arab developers, was hit hard by the region-wide real estate slump. Qatar helped key property firms weather the global crisis by pushing through defensive mergers and using its sovereign fund to invest in them.
Qatari Diar, the property arm of the Qatar Investment Authority, owns a 45 percent stake in the firm.
Barwa declined to comment on the job cuts.
This week Hitmi bin Ali Al Hitmi was appointed the new chairman of the group, replacing Ghanim bin Saad Al Saad.