Oil sector expected to drive Kuwait project space in 2014, says Doha Bank Group CEO
“Oil sector is expected to drive Kuwait project space in 2014,” said Dr. R. Seetharaman, Group CEO, Doha Bank, at a knowledge sharing session in Kuwait on ‘Projects and Contracts Opportunities and Challenges’ hosted by Doha Bank, the leading private commercial bank in Qatar. The event was well attended by economists, major contracting companies and bankers in Kuwait.
Speaking at the conference Dr. R. Seetharaman, Group CEO, Doha Bank gave insight on Global economies. He said, “According to IMF, Global growth is projected to strengthen from 3% in 2013 to 3.6% in 2014 and 3.9% in 2015 respectively. Key drivers in advanced economies are a reduction in fiscal tightening, except in Japan, and still highly accommodative monetary conditions. Emerging economies growth will be helped by stronger external demand from advanced economies, but tighter financial conditions will dampen domestic demand growth.”
Dr. Seetharaman highlighted the trends in GCC economies. He said, “GCC GDP at current prices is expected to grow by 3.5% in 2014 and touch $1.7 trillion and GCC current account balance as a percentage of GDP at current prices will reach 18% in 2014. Kuwait economy is expected to grow by 2.6% in 2014. Kuwait’s budget had projected expenditures for fiscal year 2014-15 amount to $77bn, showing a reasonable growth of 3%. The budget has assumed oil prices at $75 per barrel in the latest fiscal year. The Kuwait stock market is down by more than 2%. It plans to launch derivatives trading in 2014. Kuwait stock exchange is planning IPO.”
Dr. Seetharaman gave insight on Kuwait projects. He said, “According to IMF, Kuwait’s current economic outlook is positive and non-oil GDP growth is forecast to accelerate from 2.7% in 2013 to 3.9% this year, backed by government investment in infrastructure and large oil projects. Kuwait has projects worth more than $72.8bn expected in 2014. In April 2014, the Kuwait National Petroleum Company signed contracts worth $12bn with three international consortia to upgrade two refineries and invited bids to build a new multi-billion-dollar refinery. Kuwait has plans to open a new refinery called Al Zour. The first phase of Zour North power station, is to be built by a venture led by GDF Suez, secured financing last year.”
Dr. Seetharaman invited various speakers to the Panel discussion. The speakers include Mr. Riyadh Al Faras, Assistant Secretary General for Planning Sector- Kuwait, Mr. Steve Berto, Head of Business Development – Doha Bank, Mr. Anindya Roy Chowdhury, Partner and Head -Transactions & Restructuring of KPMG and Mr. Ibrahim Sattout, Partner- Al Ruwayeh & Partners (ASAR).
Mr. Riyadh Al Faras, Assistant Secretary General for Planning Sector spoke on the release of new contracts for Kuwait by the Kuwait government. He also spoke on clean fuel projects and funding for aid hospitals.
Mr. Steve Berto spoke on ‘Project risk management and contract management’. He highlighted the importance of risk management in projects, the need to understand risk and its role in contract management. He also gave insights on common project risks faced in contracts. He also explained the key project risks in the near future and the possible mitigations for the same.
Mr. Anindya Roychowdhury, spoke on ‘Effective Governance structures on mega projects’. He highlighted the key challenges to successful projects. He also gave insight on the underlying principles for an effective framework. He explained on the governance framework on mega project.
Mr. Ibrahim Sattout gave insight on recent mega project in Kuwait. He also highlighted the restrictions on creating security for assets. He also gave insight on the dispute resolution mechanism prevailing in Kuwait.
The panel discussion was followed by a Question and Answer session on various matters which arose based on Panel discussion.
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