Gulf Navigation appoints new group chief executive

Gulf Navigation has appointed of a new group chief executive, alongside its second new board of directors in three months, following significant changes in ownership.

The Dubai-based shipping firm yesterday named Khamis Juma Buamim, who served as chairman of Dubai’s Drydocks World from 2010-15, as group chief executive with immediate effect.

It is unclear as to whether Mr Buamim’s appointment is seen as a replacement for chief executive Parag Jain, who was confirmed in December, or a complementary role that will run alongside Mr Jain’s.

Mr Buamim did not respond to a request for comment. Gulf Navigation was not available for comment.

Mr Buamim’s appointment comes after the company last month elected a new chairman, Abdulla Al Hemeiri, together with a new board of directors, after a similar overhaul in January.

The overhaul in senior management comes as two Gulf Navigation investors – Diamond Line General Trading and Tabarak Constructions – increased their shareholdings in the company in recent weeks to 8.55 per cent and 10.35 per cent respectively.

It is unclear as to how long the two companies have been investors in the company, and when they increased their shareholdings. Neither could be reached for comment.

The two companies are also investors in Dubai-based Islamic insurer Takaful Emarat. A spokeswoman for the insurer said that both companies were domiciled in the UAE.

Meanwhile, Integrated Capital, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG), has decreased its shareholding in Gulf Navigation to under 5 per cent, from its previous level of 6.01 per cent, according to an ADFG spokesman.

Integrated Capital’s director of special projects Pathikrit Ban­ar­jee is among the seven board members elected in March. However, the ADFG chairman Jassim Alseddiqi, appointed to the board in January, is not.

Gulf Navigation in February announced a doubling of annual profits for 2015, thanks to growth in the shipping services business, even as it remains in breach of several loan covenants incurred by its VLCC segment, which it has subsequently divested.

The company’s shares have been the second best performer on the Dubai Financial Market in 2016 behind Shuaa Capital, rising 54.8 per cent since the start of the year, in comparison with 11.1 per cent for the market as a whole.

The company’s shares rose 3.45 per cent to 96 fils yesterday, before the news of Mr Buamim’s appointment was disclosed.

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