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Sun 13 Sep 2015 04:35 PM

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Kuwait's KIPCO announces plans for $5bn real estate project

The 380,000-square-metre project is planned for the al-Daiya area on the outskirts of Kuwait City, close to several foreign embassies

Kuwait's KIPCO announces plans for $5bn real estate project

Kuwait Projects Co (KIPCO), the country's largest private sector investment firm, is planning a $5 billion real estate scheme on the outskirts of Kuwait City, the company's vice chairman told a local newspaper on Sunday.

The 380,000-square-metre project is planned for the al-Daiya area where several foreign embassies are located, Faisal al-Ayyar said in an interview with al-Qabas newspaper.

It is set to include both residential and commercial spaces, as well as infrastructure such as roads, parks, walkways and electricity.

United Real Estate, a unit of KIPCO, will be responsible for implementation, along with other unnamed entities, he said.

KIPCO aims to present its plans to regulators in the coming days and to begin implementation this year.

"The project is considered the largest and most important in Kuwait, especially in the real estate sector," he told al-Qabas.

Ayyar acknowledged concerns about bureaucracy, noting that KIPCO's successful bid to develop Abdullah al-Ahmed Street a decade ago was later cancelled by parliament.

The company was hoping for the best from national authorities given the size of the al-Daiya project, he said.

Beyond Kuwait, Ayyar said the majority of KIPCO's investments are on track, including in high-risk markets Egypt, Syria and Iraq.

"Even in Iraq, with severe turbulence, our companies are profitable," he said.

He expressed optimism that subsidiary Burgan Bank would continue turning profits in Turkey, despite uncertainty over parliamentary elections and a declining Turkish lira.

In July, KIPCO reported a 17.5 percent rise in second-quarter net profit to 13.4 million dinars ($44.2 million).

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