Algeria and Lebanon are to become shareholders in The Arab Investment Company (TAIC), which is currently owned by 15 Arab states and invests in businesses in the Arab world. The two countries are likely to be admitted after a shareholders’ meeting due to take place in June, says TAIC’s deputy director-general, Ali al-Shiddi.

TAIC, which is based in Saudi Arabia, will also raise its authorised capital from $300 million to $400 million. Of this latter figure, about $360 million will be paid-up through capitalisation of reserves. ‘The reason for this is to accommodate more members and to increase our activities and investments,’ Shiddi says.

The company was set up in 1974 and takes equity investments in a range of industrial projects. It also provides investment banking services and operates an offshore banking unit in Bahrain. The current shareholders are Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the UAE and Yemen. TAIC made operating profits of $26 million for the first 11 months of 1996 compared to $17.5 million in the same period the year before. Its assets at the end of 1995 totalled $1,100 million.