Waha Capital posts Dh111m in first-quarter net profit

Investor says outlook for rest of the year is 'encouraging'

Abu Dhabi-listed Waha Capital on Tuesday said its growth strategy is on track. Victor Besa/The National 
Abu Dhabi-listed Waha Capital on Tuesday said its growth strategy is on track. Victor Besa/The National 

Abu Dhabi-listed Waha Capital posted a profit during the first quarter as an improving global economic outlook helped its public markets division and the private investments businesses to perform well.

The company earned a net profit of Dh111 million ($30.2m) for the three months to March 31, compared to a loss of Dh294m during the same period last year, it said in a statement on Tuesday to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares are traded.

“The Covid-19 vaccination programme has continued to reaffirm confidence in global markets during the first quarter, contributing to Waha Capital’s strong financial performance," said Waleed Al Muhairi, chairman of Waha Capital.

"The outlook for the rest of the year is encouraging, and the company has a comprehensive strategy to take advantage of opportunities in our key sectors and markets.”

Waha Capital, which counts Mubadala Investment Company among its shareholders, embarked on a turnaround strategy in 2019 to further improve its performance.

Its public markets business posted a profit of Dh139m in the first quarter this year, compared to a loss of Dh297m in the period for 2020.

Waha Capital operates the Waha Mena Equity Fund and the Waha CEEMEA Credit Fund.

Our first quarter results demonstrate that our strategy is working

Ahmed Al Mehairi

It launched a fourth, income-focused Islamic Fund in August to invest in Sharia-compliant assets in sukuk and equity markets globally. The fund produced a 1.6 per cent return for investors, the company said.

Its private investment business, which invests in a diverse range of sectors including health care, FinTech, energy and financial services, recorded a net profit of Dh15m, compared to a loss of Dh30m in the first quarter of 2020.

Waha Capital invested Dh184m in a New York-listed online travel company Despegar.com last year.

The company said the deal and its other investments in US securities "were already contributing to overall returns".

“Our first-quarter results demonstrate that our strategy is working and provide further confidence in our ability to deliver sustained returns for shareholders," said Ahmed Al Mehairi, chief executive of Waha Capital.

"Our growth strategy is on track, our ... funds continue to perform extremely well against peers, and our recent investments are already contributing to our profitability."

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