KSA to move ahead with port privatization drive

01 Jun 2010

(MENAFN) The Saudi Ports Authority said in a statement that the kingdom plans to create an independent firm that will manage the country?s eight ports under a gradual privatization process, Reuters reported.

The authority has completed privatization studies of the ports, which will lead to the inception of the independent managing entity, its head Khalid Bubshait said in remarks carried by the official SPA news agency.

A royal decree in 1997 allowed private firms to operate and maintain berths and equipment owned by the Ports Authority on a commercial basis, while keeping the ports and their facilities under government ownership. The move was aimed at raising efficiency and creating more jobs for Saudi nationals.

The bidding process then was on the basis of the share of terminal revenues the government would get. In late 1997, the Ports Authority started passing port terminals to the private sector on a terminal by terminal basis.

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