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The CEO of Palestine Development and Investment Company PADICO; Mr. Samir Hulaileh announced that PADICO along with other leading companies such as Palestine Telecommunications PALTEL and Bank of Palestine BOP are working to create an investment fund that aims at providing liquidity in the local Palestine Stock Exchange PEX to limit the unexplained reduction in the Palestinian Shares, which extremely reached low levels.
Hulaileh said in an interview with ‘’Al-Ayyam Newspaper’’: ‘’ The fund is for the purpose of investment in the local market, with a capital that doesn’t exceed $20 million in this stage, gathered from the major shareholders of listed companies. We know that $20 million could not do much to lift the stock price , but crucial in preventing reducing the price back and we hope we can, with Palestine telecommunications company PALTEL and Bank of Palestine BOP, launch this Fund during in the coming period. "
On the other hand, Hulaileh expected that PADICO’s profitability will be back to high levels; it could reach $40 million to $50 million by the year 2014, with the start of achieving profits from some ongoing projects, which include projects in the tourism, real estate and agriculture sectors, noting, that PADICO has invested around $130 million over the past three years.
Hulaileh added: ‘’ There won’t be any new projects for PADICO in 2012 and 2013, the concentration will be on completing the projects that PADICO has started implementing, improving the performance of the existing project in order to become profitable especially during the continuous difficult condition and economics growth reduction’’.
Hulaileh also said: ‘’ PADICO has invested $128 million in new projects, and this is the largest investment in there years for the history of the company’’. PADICO didn’t invest with this amount of money before even in the company’s evolution phase since it had confidence in the region’s future including its economic performance, but this confidence fell in this year and will significantly fall in the coming year. The best achievement of PADICO during the three past years includes operating projects that were halted, such as Movenpick Hotel in Ramallah, Alhambrah Palace Hotel Suites and Resort in Ramallah, St. George Landmark Hotel in Jerusalem and Al-Mashtal Hotel in Gaza in the tourism sector. PADICO has also completed PADICO House project, Slaughterhouse in Turkarem for Palestine Poultry Company AZIZA, Broiler Chicken Farms, Al-Ghadeer Residence in Ramallah and Solid Waste Recycling Project in Nablus and Jenin.
PADICO during this period started to implement Nakheel Palestine Project in Jericho with a capital of $15 million, and has continued purchasing the needed land for Jericho Gate Project. While in Jordan, PADICO completed two projects: Park Plaza and Al-Swaifeyye Project. This has reflected in employing around 600 employees in these projects in the year 2011 while the number of employees in 2012 has increased. It is good to note that in Jenin, Power Generation Project will be implemented where the contract for this project will be signed next month, which will open the door for investing $120 million, with a stake of $18 million for PADICO.
Hulaileh also announced:’’ In practice, the restructuring process ended in the tourism and real estate sectors, we got rid of direct supervision on 14 companies. We should now continue the restructuring process in other two sectors, including: the services sector that includes Palestine Telecommunications PALTEL, and the financial sector that includes Palestine Securities Exchange PSE, Alrafah Microfinance Bank AMB, Cairo Amman Bank and First Jordan Investment Company. One of the important cases that PADICO will work on, is decreasing its ownership in some of its subsidiaries such as Jerusalem Development & Investment Company (JEDICO) from 100% ownership to less than 51% ownership, on the other hand, to think of its affiliates if there is any possibility to transfer them to subsidiaries or reduce its ownership in them’’.
Hulaileh said:’’ We are a company and not a political party, we had four projects in Gaza Strip that couldn’t avoid implementing due to the coup in Gaza, but what postponed this implementation are the Israeli Practices that prevented us from entering Gaza not before 2010 and since then we continued our role in Gaza’’.
Regarding distributing dividends, Hulaileh said:’’ PADICO’s profits will be less this year since there is a financial pressure on the market, as a CEO it is hard to recommend distributing dividends for this year despite of the amount of profits achieved since PADICO needs money to maintain good liquidity, lending portion among banks in addition to our need of money to finance the project being recently implementing, most likely, we will not be able to distribute dividends for this year, but this case is able to be discussed’’. The reduction in profits came due to the new adopted income tax law by the Palestinian National Authority and postponing the tax exemption in addition to other reasons including economic reasons and generating only operation profits from the new implemented projects especially hotels.
Hulaileh also reported: ‘’ The information communication that is based on clearness , is one of the most important elements that could alleviate rumours and shift the focus on correct information about the company’s share, its operations and investments’’.