Waha Capital continues turnaround with Q3 profit

Investment manager launched its fourth fund in August and says plans for a fifth, high-yield fund are on the cards

Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., February 12, 2019. Sunny but chilly weather at the Corniche.
-- (Probable Big Picture) Watersports enthusiasts enjoy the beautiful weather.
Victor Besa/The National
Section:  NA
Reporter:   Mustafa AlRawi
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Waha Capital, the Abu Dhabi-based investment company that counts Mubadala Investment Company among its shareholders, continued its turnaround in the third quarter, citing the strong performance of its public markets division.

The company, which embarked on a turnaround strategy late last year, reported a net profit to shareholders of Dh86 million for the three months to September, compared with a net loss of Dh205m in the same period last year. This is the company's second successive quarterly profit after declaring losses in the six previous quarters.

"Waha Capital has made good progress on delivering its restructured business strategy implemented at the end of 2019,” said Ahmed Khalifa Al Mehairi, who was appointed as chief executive in September.

“Our performance in the past quarter highlights the quality of our investment approach. We have the means and the appetite to grow both sides of our business and it is clear from our investors given the 43 per cent rise in our share price in this past quarter that we are seen as a growth play."

The company witnessed improvements on both sides of its business. Its public markets arm made a profit of Dh132m, compared with Dh92.2m in the same period last year.

Its Private Investments arm declared a loss of Dh16.4m, compared with a loss of Dh262.5m in the prior-year period.

For the nine-month period, the company declared a net profit of Dh58.5m, compared with a loss of Dh387.3m last year.

Total assets under management stood at Dh3.2 billion by the end of September, which is 3 per cent lower than at the end of 2019.

Waha Capital operates three main funds – the Waha Mena Equity Fund, the Waha CEEMEA Credit Fund and the Waha MENA Value fund. It launched a fourth, income-focused Islamic Fund in August, which will invest in Sharia-compliant assets in sukuk and equity markets globally. The fund was launched with seed capital of Dh92m but expects to eventually attract Dh1.83bn.

"While we have exercised constraint in managing our expenses both in capex and staff recruitment terms, we have a number of new initiatives in the pipeline including a further high-yield investment fund soon to be launched and regional Private Investment deals that will help to not only consolidate but also boost the growth that we are now witnessing,” Mr Al Mehairi said.