| ABU DHABI, March 23
ABU DHABI, March 23 Abu Dhabi investment firm
Waha Capital PJSC is in talks with potential partners
in Saudi Arabia as it looks to diversify investment in some key
sectors outside the United Arab Emirates (UAE), its chairman
Saudi Arabia is opening its economy to foreign investment as
part of its 2030 vision whereby the Middle Eastern country will
rely less on oil and create more jobs for its citizens.
Waha - which owns a stake in AerCap Holdings NV and
has invested in the UAE's healthcare, financial and oil and gas
services sectors - has the expertise and fire power to enter the
Saudi market, Hussain al Nowais told Reuters after the company's
annual general meeting late on Wednesday.
"It is time to look at opportunities outside the UAE. The
Saudi market is similar to the UAE," he said. "Our entry could
happen through new start-ups or acquisitions."
The company secured a $500 million credit facility in August
and has around 600 million dirhams ($163.4 million) in cash to
Waha, whose profit slumped last year, may monetise some
investments as well as pursue acquisitions this year to lift
"At the right time, we may exit at a good price and look at
acquisitions to enhance profitability for our shareholders,"
Abu Dhabi-listed Waha's fourth-quarter profit tumbled to
19.5 million dirhams from 121.0 million dirhams in the
year-earlier period. Profit for 2016 fell 30 percent.
The company also said it has no plans to sell its 25 percent
stake in UAE-based consumer finance firm Dunia Finance.
Shareholders of Dunia began a strategic review of the business
two years ago, under which a stake sale was considered.
Shareholders of Waha approved a 20 percent dividend proposed
by the board at the meeting.
(Reporting by Stanley Carvalho)