Waha Capital earns Dh231m profit in 2020

The company reports a net operating income of Dh662m

Abu Dhabi-based Waha Capital is planning a number of regional private investment deals. Victor Besa / The National
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Waha Capital, which counts Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company as one of its shareholders, posted a full-year net profit of Dh231 million for 2020, compared to a loss of Dh616.3m in 2019, on the back of a higher operating income.

The company, which embarked on a turnaround strategy in late 2019, reported a net operating income of Dh662m in 2020, against Dh5m in the prior year, the company said in a statement to Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares trade.

“It is a testament to the robustness of Waha Capital’s governance and risk management processes that the company was able to navigate the past year, with all its challenges, so successfully,” Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, chairman of Waha Capital, said.

The positive results are rooted in the implementation of a turnaround strategy that “demonstrated commendable determination and resilience, such as going ahead with a number of ground-breaking investments and launching a new fund”, added Mr Al Muhairi.

In the fourth quarter of the last year, the company earned a net profit of Dh172.5, against a loss of Dh229m during the same period a year ago. This is the company's third successive quarterly profit after declaring losses in the six previous quarters.

Net operating income surged to Dh333.4m in three months to December 31.

Waha Capital's public markets arm made a profit of Dh321.4m in 2020. Courtesy Waha Capital

“The story of our performance in 2020 portrays the success of both verticals of the business - public markets and private investments - in pressing ahead with their strategies for the year despite the high volatility brought about by the pandemic,” said Ahmed Khalifa Al Mehairi, who was appointed as chief executive in September.

The company’s public markets arm made a profit of Dh321.4m in 2020, compared with Dh391.2m in 2019.

Its private investments arm, which represents a portfolio across several sectors including healthcare, industrial real estate, FinTech, energy, infrastructure and travel, returned to profit in 2020. It reported a net profit of Dh40.2m, compared to a loss of Dh835.4m in 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.

“On the investment side in particular our teams were able to generate excess returns ahead of industry benchmarks while taking advantage of attractive valuations that brought short term gains as well as ones likely to crystallise into longer term value for our investors,” Mr Al Mehairi said.