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DSI to bid on $1bn of projects in Qatar

Doha, February 9, 2011

Dubai contractor Drake & Scull International (DSI) is bidding for Dh4 billion ($1 billion) worth of projects in Qatar and is planning two acquisitions in 2011, its top executive said on Wednesday.

Drake, which specialises in mechanical, engineering and plumbing businesses (MEP), has been rapidly expanding its operations outside Dubai, where house prices have plunged some 60 per cent since their peaks in 2008.

'Last year, we acquired five companies. We will have two more acquisitions in 2011, one in GCC and one outside,' Khaldoun Tabari, Drake's CEO told reporters at a MEED conference in Doha.

Drake has between Dh8 billion to Dh9 billion of signed contracts in the Gulf and does not rule out tapping the debt markets in future, Tabari said.

'We don't have a lot of debt in our balance sheet. If we need money in the future, it will be better to go to the debt markets than the banks,' he said.

Bank lending to the real estate sector in Dubai dried up after the burst of property bubble in the emirate led to debt restructurings of state-owned entities with heavy real estate exposure.

Real estate firms have been lining up to beef up operations in Qatar as the state is expected to spend as much as $60 billion to build the infrastructure to host the football World Cup finals in 2022.

Drake shares rose 2.8 per cent on the Dubai bourse at 0955 GMT.-Reuters

Tags: Construction | building | Drake & Scull | MEP | Dubai contractor |

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