Mohammed Al Fahim appointed as acting CEO of Arabtec

Duration of Mohammed Al Fahim’s tenure as acting CEO of Arabtec yet to be determined

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Mohammed Al Fahim, an Arabtec board member, has been appointed as the acting CEO of the UAE’s biggest listed construction company, following the resignation of Hasan Ismaik, who only took over in March 2013.

Al Fahim is a board member at International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), which is the parent investor group of Aabar Investments, the investment group that owns 21.6% of Arabtec Construction.

He is also a board member on Aabar Investments, First Energy Bank, Alizz Investment Bank and Depa Ltd. In addition to being the head of finance at the Finance and Accounts department of IPIC, Al Fahim is also the general and supervisory board member of Energias de Portugal.

In his formal resignation to the board, Ismaik said that he would be ‘pursuing his other business investments,’ reports in local media said. They added that Al Fahim’s duration as acting CEO remained undecided.

A source, who declined to be named, said: “We have still not got the details of the duration of Fahim’s tenure as acting chairman and whether it will become a permanent position.”

Arabtec spokespersons declined to comment on the matter when approached by Big Project ME.

The news of Hasan Ismaik stepping down comes on the back of Arabtec’s share prices falling by as much as 34.11% on the Dubai Financial Market between June 8 and June 12.

However, industry analysts remain unsure about the consequences of this change at the top. Craig Plumb, head of Research at Jones Lang LaSalle, told Big Project ME that there was ‘unlikely to be any instability’ and that it would be ‘business as usual’, as far as Arabtec’s construction contracts were concerned.

In a telephone interview with Bloomberg News, Hasan Ismaik said that he would consider selling his stake in Arabtec if he got a suitable offer.

“If approached by any government entity to buy my stake, I would consider the offer,” Ismaik, who currently owns 28.84% of the construction giant. He added that he no longer holds any positions within the company.

Notable developments made by Arabtec under Ismaik’s tenure include the formation of a joint venture with South Korean giant Samsung Engineering; successful contract bids in markets such as Egypt and Iraq; horizontal expansion into sectors like oil & gas and MEP; and an overhaul of Arabtec’s senior management team.

The company also upped its workforce nationalisation operations under Ismaik’s tenure.

“It’s one of our strategic objectives to contribute to the socio-economic development of the Arab World and create thousands of jobs for the national youth in these countries, enabling them to participate in building their homelands,” Ismaik had said earlier this year.

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