Dubai builder Drake & Scull appoints new CEO

Khaldoun Tabari will continue to serve as a non-executive board member and vice-chairman



Dubai-listed construction and engineering company Drake & Scull International (DSI), hit by tough conditions in the regional building industry, said on Monday it had appointed Wael Allan as its new chief executive, replacing Khaldoun Tabari.

Low oil prices are forcing governments to restrain spending and thus pressuring the finances of DSI and many other construction firms in Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia, where DSI has been operating.

In mid-August, DSI reported a second-quarter net loss of Dhs207.6m ($57m), compared to a profit of Dhs10.3m a year earlier. It is expected to report third-quarter earnings in the next few weeks.

DSI shares closed at a seven-month low of Dhs0.44 on Sunday, down 24 per cent from a peak in mid-July.

Tabari will continue to serve as a non-executive board member, member of the executive committee, vice-chairman and a major shareholder, DSI said in a bourse statement on Monday. He submitted his resignation in August.

Tabari has been leading DSI since 1998, when he initially bought a stake in the company. He now owns 8.3 per cent of DSI, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Allan was appointed DSI’s group chief operating officer in May this year after decades of experience at other companies in the construction sector in the Middle East, the United States and Europe.

DSI’s chief financial officer, Kailash Sadangi, told Reuters in August that the company had asked advisers for proposals to review its business and find strategic investors.

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