GROWTH PLANS

Kuwait 2019 | ECONOMY | INTERVIEW

Bukhamseen Group Holding has diversified from real estate and is now present in the banking, investment, hospitality, media, technology, aviation, insurance, and restaurant industries.

Osama J. Bukhamseen
BIOGRAPHY
The Executive Manager of Bukhamseen Group Holding Co., Osama J. Bukhamseen is also Chairman of Tanmiya Realty Development Co., Osama Bukhamseen Design, and Bukhamseen International Group. He is also a member of the board of the Real Estate Association of Kuwait, Al-Arabiya Real Estate Co., Ritaj Takaful Insurance Co., Creditone Holding Co., and Kuwait University – College of Engineering and Petroleum.

What has been the key to Bukhamseen Group's strong competitiveness across all the sectors?

We have always been a top player in the real estate sector, but we have learned a great deal from our involvement in other sectors. Every sector drops from time to time, and crises become a trigger to reinvent management strategies along with financial planning. We started by massively investing in every sector and eventually decided to focus on markets that will experience growth in the future. We have also rearranged our management. Every brother is responsible for a certain sector and in charge for the company and sector he is managing. As managing directors of the company, we put forward the best effort in being the leader in the private sector. Our father empowered and entrusted us, and we now carry his faith and vision.

What main obstacles and challenges need to be addressed in order to increase the level of FDI?

The current by-laws are outdated as evident from feasibility studies on market demand and supply. For the past 20 years, BOT projects have been leased agreements. The new laws took many years to change and still need to be improved. The government needs to be closer to the private sector in order to properly address the by-laws. Current bylaws are not in favor of projects. The first obstacle is that projects are tendered in a non-feasible way. Tendering companies had to join forces and tell the government to change the tender. Moreover, in Kuwait, we also face the government audit bill. They have been viewed as an obstacle since they tend to over regulate. We want this auditing strategy to change in order to attract and benefit both private and government sectors in terms of achievements and developments.

How could the stock market financing be improved in order to help the development of new business?

Over the past few years, the laws have been improved due to the CMA regulations and the involvement of the financial authority. Specially, it was a positive step to start filtering out companies. We must delist the companies that are not at the expected level, which could mislead stock investors. Second, the regulation of the stock market and the financial authority has to improve to attract new companies and list them on the stock market. Unfortunately, the opposite is happening, and many do not consider being listed as an added value. Since the private sector recently took over the market, this has contributed to the development of new businesses that entice private investors to invest in the stock market.

What are your predictions for the country's future?

We have multibillion high-rise mega projects in the design stage. One of them is a mix-used project that combines retail, hospitality, and offices; this will be highly beneficial for Kuwait's private sectors. We are proud that Kuwait is one of the leading countries to sign a bilateral agreement with China. This is a unique example of distinguished bilateral relations based on strategic partnership and will develop the market of construction and building materials. Banks will benefit from the financing, and insurance companies will get their slice of the pie as well. The hospitality sector will also experience a significant growth. There are plans to develop the islands and build hotels and recreational entertainment to boost internal and international tourism. In order to achieve this, it is primordial to establish a stable framework, have high-quality airports, hotels, and attractive entertainment and tourism places. Kuwait has improved substantially in the last five years, building new opera theaters, museums, and a scientific center. There are also some plans for the tourism enterprises to develop the entertainment city. All these developments will help usher a new era in Kuwait, and the Bukhamseen Group will play a vital role in turning future plans into reality.