Oman sets up new holding firm to manage industrial estates
February 13, 2018 | 1:57 PM
by A E JAMES/[email protected]
The PEIE will own 51 per cent stake in the newly formed Oman Investment and Development Holding Company, while 49 per cent will be offered to the private sector. - Picture by Shabin E/ Times of Oman

Muscat: The Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (PEIE) has formed a new holding company to manage the establishment’s assets in different industrial estates across the Sultanate. The move is expected to strengthen the role of the private sector in attracting investment in a flexible and easy manner

PEIE will own 51 per cent stake in the newly-formed Oman Investment and Development Holding Company, while 49 per cent will be offered to the private sector. “The new company will manage PEIE’s 100 million square metre industrial land and other assets in different industrial estates, which will help bring in flexibility and easy implementation of the privatisation strategy,” Hilal bin Hamad Al Hassani, chief executive officer of Public Establishment for Industrial Estates, said while addressing the annual press briefing.

Elaborating on an earlier initiative to attract private investment in developing facilities, Al Hassani said the Shumook Investment and Services was established in partnership with pension funds and other investment funds.

“The holding company will promote companies for development and for management and operation of the existing industrial estates, through partnerships with specialised operators in this field. It is expected that the company will commence its operations during the second half of 2018.

A plan has also been prepared to transfer the existing industrial estates to the holding company gradually, while taking into consideration that the offered services to companies, investors, and clients are not adversely affected,” Al Hassani said.

In line with the strategy, the role of PEIE till 2022 will be limited to planning, regulating, monitoring, and following up, while the role of the Oman Investment and Development Holding Company will be development, management and operation. In fact, it will act as the main developer in the existing industrial estates.

On the other hand, local and international development companies will act as main developers of the new industrial estates.

The programme, “Strengthening Partnership with the Private Sector”, aims at implementing the privatisation process in a smooth and effective manner, in order to ensure the contribution of industrial estates to sustainable and comprehensive economic and social development.

Apart from forming a holding firm, Al Hassani said that through medium- and long-term plans, PEIE has adopted a programme to strengthen partnership with the private sector in constructing, managing, and operating industrial estates and economic areas belonging to PEIE.

The first step is to attract major developers to all new industrial estates and PEIE to not invest directly in the development process. The second aspect is related to opening the way for the private sector to work under the umbrella of PEIE as owners and developers of economic areas for a variety of investment activities.

For implementation of the first part, PEIE will provide investment opportunities in the new industrial estates located in a number of wilayats in 2018 and 2019 for the local and foreign private sector.

Also, PEIE will attract local and international industrial developers to invest in construction, management, and operation of specialised investment areas. PEIE has also worked on establishing rules, procedures, and legislative frameworks to grant developers a line-up of incentives and to clearly define their rights and duties, which include granting them a usufruct contract for up to 99 years.

As for the second part of the programme, in order to expand the industrial areas, work is underway to develop controls to grant approvals for the private sector to establish areas owned by it or areas where it owns the rights to use the lands outside the lands of PEIE. Moreover, PEIE aims at benefiting from the international and regional expertise in the fields of construction, management, and operation of economic areas.

“This will open the way to attract international operators for the estates and public facilities, in addition to having contracts with them through agreements that last for a period of up to 25 years. This will eventually increase the competitiveness of the industrial estates in Oman and create an integration of activities within the industrial community through application of the best management practices,” he explained.

Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to know all the latest news