Dow Chemical Shifting Strategy in Kuwait

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U.S. petrochemicals giant Dow Chemical Co (DOW) is not pulling out of Kuwait but is shifting strategy, its chief executive said on Monday, after the company announced plans to reduce its equity positions in all of its Kuwaiti ventures.

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Asked about Dow's strategy in Kuwait, Chief Executive Andrew Liveris, speaking on the sidelines of a conference in Dubai, said his company was "moving from doing commodities just for commodities sake, moving more downstream and Kuwait is more about commodities..."

"We are not pulling out of Kuwait," he said.

Dow Chemical announced earlier this month said that as part of a $7-$8.5 billion divestiture plan, it would reduce its equity positions in all of its Kuwaiti ventures, in order to release capital for other strategic purposes. It did not give details.

Kuwaiti state news agency KUNA earlier this month quoted a senior Kuwaiti executive as saying that the Gulf Arab state was planning to offer to the public the shares in Kuwaiti joint ventures which Dow Chemical planned to sell off.