Mint Turbines Awarded Grant for Equipment and Workforce

Oklahoma’s Department of Commerce (ODOC) reached out to Mint Turbines, a 30 year old company who specializes in engine MRO services and engine repair/maintenance, to inform them that due to their industry sector, they can qualify for a grant from the Manufacturing Reboot Program that Governor Kevin Stitt rolled out. Under the Reboot Program, companies apply for a grant that is intended to assist in either retooling to develop products to help combat COVID-19 or to allow the company to expand current capabilities.

Located halfway between Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Mint Turbines is facilitated in Stroud where they operate as an turbine engine maintenance, repair and overhaul facility. “The state is very proactive in helping business grow here in Oklahoma,” said Chris Van Denhende, CFO of Mint Turbines. Van Denhende always stated that within 10 short days of applying for the grant, they were notified of acceptance.

As an awardee of the grant money, the company received $150,000. Additionally, a coordinate-measuring machine, typically known as CMM equipment, was sought after. CMM machine, typically weighing in at an astonishing 20,000 pounds, uses smart technologies to decrease measurement cycle time. A single CMM cost around $250,000 and with $100,000 of the Reboot funds going to this important purchase – $50,000 is left to be assigned to employee growth. With 45 current employees, Mint Turbine expects to see their employment double within the next three years. With labor intensive hands-on roles needing to be fulfilled, a pipeline of highly skilled individuals are sought after. The CMM machinery will also allow Mint Turbine to bid for work.

Furthermore, the funds allow Mint Turbines to expand on their product offerings while simultaneously boosting the quality of life in their city by filling numerous positions at the manufacturing facility.


Bahrain’s Investcorp inks $286m deals for US residential property

Bahrain’s Investcorp has invested in four US residential apartment complexes and a student housing facility for a total purchase price of $286 million, the company announced on Monday.

The communities include a 660-unit property in Atlanta, a 408-unit property in Chicago, and two properties with a total of 505 units in Dallas.

The student housing property, located in Orlando, has over 800 bedrooms.

Additionally, Investcorp invested in four industrial portfolios, comprising 2.7 million square feet and over 40 buildings for a total purchase price of approximately $206 million.

The four portfolios comprise nine buildings totalling 552,370 sq. ft. in Phoenix, Arizona, 11 buildings totalling 833,193 sq.ft. in Minneapolis, Minnesota, 7 buildings totalling 440,013 sq.ft. in Austin, Texas and 15 buildings totalling 876,955 sq.ft. in Chicago.

“These investments are a continuation of our real estate investment strategy and our commitment to growing our U.S. real estate portfolio,” said Investcorp Co-CEO Mohammed Al Shroogi. “Investcorp has been a leader in this market since we entered over 20 years ago, and it remains a key part of our long-term strategy.”


Production surges in Iran’s car industry

Iran's car industry

Iran’s car industry is the second biggest sector in country after the energy sector accounting for more than 10 percent of its GDP.
Over 700,000 people are working in this industry which is equal to four percent of workforce of Iran, according to the 2015 data.

With a contribution of about $9.1 billion, the country’s carmakers accounted for 2.2 percent of Iran’s economic growth over the last fiscal year (ended March 20, 2016). The automotive industry is projected to form at least four percent of Iran’s economic growth by 2025.

The WB estimates show that Iran’s GDP in 2015 stood at $393.7 billion. This is while Iran’s car industry in 2015 witnessed a downward trend as the industry’s share in the country’s GDP was 0.5 percent lower than in preceding year.

However, the latest statistics on the output of the country’s automotive industry suggest a huge surge. The industry made more than 946,000 vehicles over the first nine months of the current fiscal year — indicating a 38.7-percent growth year-on-year.

A surge was observed in interest among multinational companies in investing in Iran following the nuclear deal signed in January 2015, while one sector attracting attention is Iran’s automotive industry.

Iranian car manufacturers reestablished cooperation with European companies, including Peugeot, Citroen and Renault. This resulted in a strong growth of nearly 151 percent for automotive sector, which ended 2016 as the top performing sector on the Tehran Stock Exchange.

At least two European carmakers had earlier announced that they experienced a considerable surge in their sales in Iran over 2016.

Traditional export markets for Iranian automobiles include Algeria, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Ghana, Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, Senegal, Syria, Sudan and Venezuela.

Recently, the Islamic Republic presented certificates to foreign car manufacturers willing to open sales offices in the country.

Some 40 foreign carmakers have already obtained the certificates, while the number can be increased in future. Companies may get licenses facing no limit in terms of the number of cars they would like to import. However, the companies are required to have a 10-year customer services experience in Iran, to be able to sell the production in the market.

The auto giant PSA Peugeot Citroen became the first foreign company since the implementation of the JCPOA to receive a license from the Iranian government to invest in Iran Khodro Co. (IKCO) — the country’s biggest car manufacturer.

The country imported some 49,331 motor cars in March-December 2016, while some 89 percent of the of the figure fell to a share of 5 countries, including the UAE, South Korea, Germany, Spain, Turkey. Imported cars had only a five-percent share in Iran’s total car market in the period.