x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 23 November 2017

Struggling Qatari developer shed jobs amid slump

Ezdan Holding, biggest publicly-traded developer in country, slashes workforce by 15 per cent

Qatar developers such as Ezdan are feeling the squeeze. Kamran Jebreili. AP
Qatar developers such as Ezdan are feeling the squeeze. Kamran Jebreili. AP

Ezdan Holding Group reduced almost 15 per cent of its workforce as Qatar’s largest publicly traded real estate developer restructures its operations, according to two people familiar with the situation.

The 220 job cuts mostly comprised maintenance staff and included some management, said the people, who asked not to be identified. An Ezdan spokesman and another official at the company did not respond to requests for comment.

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Ezdan held the second-largest weighting in the Qatari stock index earlier this year until it was dropped after shareholders approved a plan on May 24 to convert the business to a private company. The shares have fallen 49 per cent since. Valued at 21.2 billion Qatari riyals (Dh20.2bn), Ezdan is controlled by its founder, a Qatari royal, and related entities, and only has about 6 per cent of its shares available for trading by outside investors.

S&P Global Ratings on Monday cut its long-term corporate credit rating on Ezdan to junk, lowering it to BB from BBB minus, with a negative outlook. It cited a weakening of the company’s financial-risk profile because of a deterioration in the country’s operating environment as a result of the Saudi Arabian-led embargo against Qatar.