Setting up a tissue plant in Jebel Ali Free Zone: CEO
DUBAI - Dubai-based Alokozay Group has acquired a bank in Afghanistan and will also open a tissue plant in Dubai in the next three to four months as part of group's diversification plan, a senior company official said.
Speaking to Emirates 24l7, Jalil Alokozay, CEO of Alokozay Group, said: "We have taken over another bank and will rebrand it as Alokozay Bank because central bank is not issuing any new license. We will launch it in the next two to three months. It is a small bank - cannot disclose the name of it. They didn't want to sell anyone else because there are some international partners. This will be 100 per cent takeover from local and foreign partners. We have almost agreed and central bank has also agreed."
He refused to divulge the bank's capital base and further details.
Dominated by local players, Afghanistan houses 17 local and foreign players, according to the Central Bank data.
Afghanistan's Kabul Bank has recently been in the news for massive misappropriation of funds and fraudulent loans. It is expected to be liquidated soon, media reports said last month.
"There were mismanagement issues. The government is taking care of that and will find a solution to that. That's why we are working in the banking sector. The government trusts us because it's a credible name," Alokozay added.
Headquartered in Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafz), the family-owned group is well diversified with a turnover of well over $1 billion and interests in real estate, energy, beverages, logistics and FMCG sectors.
As part of group's expansion plan, Alokozay will set up a Dh20 million tissue plant in Jafz in the next couple of months.
"We are setting up a tissue plant in Jafz. We have already ordered a machine and expect it to reach from Germany in the next three or four months. We will be investing Dh20 million in the first year and then we are looking in to producing pocket tissues to be exported to the neighboring GCC countries and Afghanistan.
"We are building more logistics facilities and hiring more people. Dubai is our headquarter so strategically this is very important place for us," he added.
Last week, Alokozay Group tied up with PepsiCo to set up a $60 million beverage plant in the war-torn country. Alokozay said the group will expand investment in beverages sector by investing an additional $30 million to produce juices. "The investment will go up to $100 million in four years time because the market is growing there in Afghanistan. The economy is doing well, things are getting better."
Alokozay told this website that March 2012 is the date for the production for the plant spanned over 96,000 square meters with a capacity of around 45,000 cases per year.
The group's real estate arm is investing approximately $120 million in Kabul to develop a modern shopping mall and over 1,000 apartments to meeting the growing need of quality housing in the country. (Agencies)