Adnoc Distribution shares receive Sharia-compliance certification

The compliance will help attract new investors looking to invest in equities which are deemed as adhering to Islamic principles of investing

Adnoc Distribution's UAE network reached 389 retail fuel stations as of 31 March 2020, including ten fuel stations in Dubai. The company also operates in Saudi Arabia. Courtesy Adnoc Distribution
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Adnoc Distribution, the UAE's largest fuel and convenience retailer, was granted Sharia-compliance certification for its shares, which will allow brokerage units of Islamic banks to trade the company's stocks.

The Unified Committee of Islamic Banks for Sharia Screening of Equities has assessed Adnoc Distribution's shares, the company said in a statement to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares trade.

The compliance will help the company attract a broader investor base that deals through brokerages of Islamic banks and invests in equities which are deemed as adhering to Islamic principles of investing.

“This certification paves the way for existing and new shareholders with a preference for Sharia-compliant stocks to invest in Adnoc Distribution,” said Saeed Al Rashdi, acting chief executive Adnoc Distribution.

The certification will contribute to increased liquidity for the company’s shares, he said.

Adnoc Distribution, which floated 10 per cent of its shares in 2017, reported a 2.2 per cent year-on-year rise in second quarter net income to Dh595m. In April, the company announced a new dividend policy, representing a 63 per cent increase in the annual dividend for 2019 to Dh2.39 billion and a 75 per cent increase for its 2020 dividend of Dh2.57bn.

Adnoc Distribution plans to open 20 to 30 fuel stations in the second half of this year in the UAE and expects volumes and sales to rise for the first six months of the year. The company said it plans to upgrade 100 stores in total around the UAE as part of a revitalisation programme, with new product offerings and a new loyalty programme.

The company is also pursuing plans to enter the lubricants market in India in the third quarter of the year as it looks to increase corporate sales volumes, its chief operating officer said earlier this month.

"We might have some announcements this year, in terms of at least by the end of Q3, we would be able to give on the lubricants side," Mohamed Al Hashimi told The National.

"We’re assessing all those options and we continue to find and search for that one pathway into the Indian market,” he said.

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