Abu Dhabi Ports, the government-run terminal operator, is discussing a possible deal in Africa to take advantage of the continent’s growing trade with Asia, Chief Executive Officer Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi said.
Shipping between Africa and Asia is “booming,” Al Shamisi said in a Bloomberg Television interview from the company’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi. He declined to identify who else is involved in the talks or where the venture might be.
“There are big volumes moving from Africa to the east, so we’re capitalizing in the east-east market which is still booming,” Al Shamisi said. “We see big potential moving forward.”
A possible deal would expand the company’s footprint in Africa where it operates a terminal in Guinea, the West African country holding about a quarter of the world’s reserves of bauxite, a raw material used to make aluminum. The facility is in the city of Kamsar, located 250 kilometers (155 miles) northwest of the capital Conakry. Emirates Global Aluminium, which is starting an alumina smelter at Abu Dhabi Ports’ Khalifa Industrial Zone, is also building a bauxite mine in Guinea.
Abu Dhabi Ports is also considering an initial public offering, joining a growing list of state entities in the United Arab Emirates seeking to sell shares, according to people familiar with the matter. Al Shamisi said last week “there are no immediate plans to go public.”