Abu Dhabi, 15 April 2012 –The Annual General Meeting of Waha Capital PJSC, the diversified investment firm based in Abu Dhabi (ADX: WAHA), approved on Sunday a recommendation by the company’s Board of Directors to pay its shareholders a cash dividend of 5%. The dividend represents a yield of approximately 7% on the closing share price on April 12, 2012.
The shareholders in attendance at the AGM also elected a new Board of Directors chaired by His Excellency Hussain Jassim Al Nowais. The new board directors of the company are Salem Rashid Al Noaimi and AhmedBin Ali Al Dhaheri. Abubaker Seddiq Al Khoori was elected as Vice Chairman. Furthermore, Deloitte and Touche have been appointed as the company auditor for 2012 financial year.
During the meeting, His Excellency Hussain Jasim Al Nowais, Chairman of Waha Capital, told shareholders, board members, and executive management that the company had performed well in 2011, recording a net income of AED 155.3 million, despite difficult global market conditions. The company’s total assets increased by 11.4% to AED 4.23 billion by the end of 2011, compared by AED 3.8 billion at the end of December 2010.
“Building on these results, accomplished in a difficult year, we expect to achieve sustainable growth in the medium to long term through our proven successful diversification strategy, which will enable us to produce increased value to our shareholders and stakeholders at large,” Al Nowais said.
Al Nowais noted that the global economic slowdown, partly due to continued deleveraging in developed countries, could present Waha Capital with attractive opportunities to expand its investments.
“For an investment company such as Waha Capital, such a scenario presents opportunities as well as challenges,” Al Nowais said.
“Our prudent financial management has placed the company in a strong position, not only to weather volatility evidenced in international markets but to also seize attractive opportunities as we continue to build our business. Our aim is to ensure that we continuously optimize our asset mix to reflect the areas where we see resilience and potential growth, in order to maximise shareholder returns.”
Al Nowais noted that, against the challenging global backdrop, Waha Capital’s portfolio companies and financial services business had made substantial progress in 2011.
AerCap Holdings N.V., in which Waha Capital owns a 21.3 % stake as of 31 December 2011, achieved a robust performance in 2011, with basic lease revenue growing by over 10 % from the previous year. The company signed 26 lease agreements and letters of intent, and negotiated a major agreement with American Airlines for the purchase and leaseback of 35 B737-800 aircraft, which is expected provide the company with stable growth through 2014.span>
Although the oil service sector is still recovering from a slowdown in 2009-10, Waha Capital witnessed a pick-up in business and tendering activity towards the end of 2011. Waha Offshore Marine Services, one of Waha Capital's wholly-owned investments, deployed its vessels fully throughout the year. Stanford Marine Group, in which Waha Capital owns a 49 % stake, took delivery of six platform supply vessels in 2011, all of which are currently on medium- to long-term charters in the Middle East and Africa.
The first phase of ALMARKAZ, a high-quality industrial real estate project operated and wholly owned by Waha Land L.L.C., is now nearing completion. The initial phase of the project comprises 90,000 m² of completed multi-purpose space aimed at providing light industrial businesses flexible and affordable warehousing and storage facilities with state-of-the-art infrastructure. The units will be delivered to end users and real estate investors during the first half of 2012.
Dunia Finance, a consumer finance company in which Waha Capital owns a 25 % stake, has made strong progress since its creation in 2008, breaking even in 2011, ahead of schedule. The company, which operates 19 financial centres across the United Arab Emirates, doubled its revenues in 2011, due to a 50 % increase in its customer base and its loan portfolio.
Waha Financial Services received mandates from a number of clients for arranging and financing assets and generated healthy fee income. The unit is focused on developing its presence within the financial services space, mainly by increasing capabilities and service offerings.
Salem Rashid Al Noaimi, Chief Executive Officer of Waha Capital added: “We will look to further refine our investment strategy and build on our expertise in managing investments, while ensuring that our highly skilled management teams efficiently run the day-to-day operations of our portfolio businesses. We have made a decisive move towards this efficient “arm’s length” approach in 2011, bringing together all of our assets under one unit. Our aim is to strengthen and grow our portfolio by seeking investment opportunities in our home market as well as in fast growing emerging markets.”
Al Nowais concluded the meeting by thanking the leadership of Abu Dhabi, represented by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, for their continuous support to all national companies.
He also thanked the company’s shareholders, partners, clients, board members, management team and staff at Waha Capital for their commitment and contribution to the group's success