By Middle East North Africa Financial Network (www.menafn.com)

Gulf News reported that the GCC cement sector witnessed a 15 percent drop in profits in the first nine months of this year posting $1.46 billion profits in the third quarter, compared to $1.72 billion in the same period of 2007.

Kuwait and the UAE were the most countries posting drop in profits, 74 percent and 15 percent respectively.

The Amana Contracting and Steel Buildings Company Chief Operating Officer, Riad Bsaibes, said that if the drop was in the first three quarters, then it is not linked to the global crisis, it might be because of the structural frame of the cement industry in the region.

Bsaibes added that another reason may be the decline in fuel and raw material prices, which is hopefully a benefit for real estate and construction companies.

The Beltone Financial Research report Construction and Building Materials Overview said that the global turmoil affected negatively on the real estate sector, which witnesses less initiatives in constructing new properties, this affects harshly on the cement sector.

It is worth mentioning that there are about $4.4 trillion worth of construction companies in the Middle East and North Africa region, and $2.5 trillion in the GCC.