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Work to begin on Casablanca port project

DUBAI: Wessal Capital, a Moroccan fund backed by oil-rich Gulf Arab countries, expects construction on a 530 million euro ($735 million) project to develop Casablanca’s port area to begin in about 18 months.

Building the Wessal Casa-Port project, the fund’s first investment, will take at least five years, board member Tarik Senhaji said Thursday. The development will include a cruise ship terminal, hotels, offices and residential buildings.

Wessal Capital is backed by 2.5 billion euros in equity commitments from the Moroccan Fund for Tourism Development, Qatar Holding, the United Arab Emirates’ Aabar, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Kuwait’s Al-Ajial fund. Wessal, set up to invest in Morocco’s tourism and real estate industries, may award contracts to units that its shareholders own or have stakes in, Senhaji said.

“A number of our shareholders have equity participation in international chain operators, so that’s something we’ll be relying on,” Rabat-based Senhaji, who is also the chief executive officer of the Moroccan Fund for Tourism Development, said.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on April 11, 2014, on page 5.

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