By Andy Sambidge
UAE industrial giant announces spending plan over next two years to support country's diversification plan
Abu Dhabi government-owned General Holding Corporation (Senaat) said on Sunday it is planning to invest AED5 billion ($1.36 billion) expanding its portfolio of industrial projects.
Senaat, one of the UAE’s largest industrial holding companies, said the two-year investment plan follows a spend of AED16 billion over the previous five years.
The announcement was made by Husain Jasim Al Nowais, Senaat’s chairman, when he spoke at the Global Financial Markets Forum, a statement said.
He said: "I am very confident about the future of our country and this is why we are investing AED5 billion in more industrial projects over the next two years. I hope this will inspire others to contribute to the development and diversification of our economy."
Al Nowais shared his views on the country’s diversification efforts and where he sees UAE industry heading in light of recent market developments.
He said: "Lately we’ve found ourselves relentlessly pursuing one common goal: diversification. While we owe much of the early stages of our incredible success to oil, our coming together through an event such as GFMF is a testament to how far we’ve come since then.
"At Senaat, our commitment to the industrial sector is solid. Our industrial journey has clearly been paved by successes, and sound collaboration with the financial community. But how do we take what is exceptional today and make it the best choice of tomorrow? I believe we need further support from the financial community."
He called on banks to explore ways, including the creation of a domestic bond market, to provide longer-term funding that better matches the average life of assets on the balance sheet of industrial players.
"We, as the industrialists, would like to see local banks establish even deeper relationships with major Export Credit Agencies and be able to act as an intermediary in such deals.
"We also need to develop the commodities market, specifically iron ore, copper and grain, as it will help with commodity hedging."