How has Waha Capital performed over the past few years?
AL NOAIMI: Waha Capital is a publicly listed investment company based in Abu Dhabi. Our performance has been quite strong over the past few years. In fact, we've been profitable for ten years and over the past five years, our average ROE has been around 10%, which is something we are proud of.
Our strategy has been focused on investing in spaces and companies which we know quite well. Specifically, our investment in AerCap has been a very solid investment for Waha Capital. AerCap is a New York listed aircraft leasing company, of which we own 26%, and which has formed an integral part of our portfolio over the past few years. It has been a strong performer, adding to the bottom line of Waha Capital significantly over the past few years. We hope their continued growth will help us prosper further in the future.
The same applies to Dunia Finance. Dunia has been a strong performer for Waha Capital. It's a company we jointly set up with our partners in 2008 and in which we put a lot of time and effort. It has performed quite well, and we hope it will continue to do so.
The other area where we've spent a lot of time and energy on is the governance structure, putting in place the right policies, procedures, controls, and more importantly, putting in place the right people within the company, which has enabled us to flourish over the past few years. So we firmly believe in our strategy, we firmly believe in putting the right time and effort into sectors, opportunities, and subsequently managing those opportunities appropriately.
What is Waha Capitalâ€™s growth and expansion strategy?
AL NOAIMI: Waha Capital has always invested in areas which we know well. We spend a lot of time and energy choosing sectors and choosing companies within those sectors, and hence we focus quite a bit on the selection criteria. Once we make an investment, we strongly support these companies going forward.
Currently, we're focused on investing in areas of growth in the UAE and the region. We currently have a strategy that focuses on investing through principal investments, investing in capital markets, investing in infrastructure, and investing in industrial real estate. All of these sectors have been identified as areas that are important for the region and where there is a high degree of potential growth, hence profitability, for a company such as Waha Capital.
Waha Capital recently entered the healthcare sector through its acquisition of Anglo Arabian Healthcare. Why did you decide to invest in healthcare?
AL NOAIMI: Social infrastructure is an area where we see a lot of growth opportunity. Within that space specifically, we like healthcare and education. Healthcare is a high growth sector that's important for the government, where there is an opportunity for a company such as Waha Capital to create a successful player. Hence, we've been looking at that space for a couple of years and we made an investment in Anglo Arabian Healthcare a few months ago. It's an investment which we believe very much in and we hope that will turn into another successful platform for Waha Capital.
We've been profitable for ten years and over the past five years, our average ROE has been around 10%.
Why did you choose Anglo Arabian Healthcare in particular and what are your plans for the company?
AL NOAIMI: We looked at different opportunities for us to deploy our capital. Anglo Arabian Healthcare proved to be the best suitable candidate for us to invest in. They are a team of highly capable, specialized investors in the healthcare space. They have proven to be successful historically, and we like the assets that we've been able to put together through Anglo Arabian Healthcare. We're full of excitement for the future there.
In your opinion, what are the most promising investment opportunities in the UAE and the wider region going forward? Into what spaces can we expect to see Waha Capital deploy capital in the future?
AL NOAIMI: We're in a region which has weathered the storm of the crisis over the past few years. Not that we haven't been impacted by what's been happening globally, but as I mentioned, our performance of circa 10% ROE over the past five years shows that if you have the right type of focus you're able to deliver returns in this region. So going forward, we're full of excitement because the space we're in, the sectors we're in, the geography we're in right now, is something that we're very optimistic about considering that the global macroeconomics are looking more positive. We can't wait to show what we can do in an upward market, compared to how well we've performed in a downward market.
When it comes to deploying capital in the future for Waha Capital, we're focused on four areas. Principal investments is a space where we deploy capital in high-growth opportunities such as education and healthcare, like I mentioned, as well as sectors which we're already invested in such as aircraft leasing, financial services, etc.
The second area which we are focused on is capital markets. Over the past few years, we've been very successful in deploying capital in that space, specifically in debt and emerging markets. Our performance has been quite solid in that space, so we will continue to be bullish about that part of our business. We're also focused on delivering capabilities on the equity investing side within capital markets right now.
The third sector which we are invested in is infrastructure, through the MENA Infrastructure Fund, which is a $300m fund. The fund is fully invested and is performing well. We're currently reviewing future investments within the infrastructure space.
And last but not least is our investment in ALMARKAZ, which is the industrial real estate play. We like that space because it's again a high-growth sector. There's a lot of demand for industrial real estate within Abu Dhabi, and we are bullish about continuing our presence within that space.