Abu Dhabi’s Waha Looking to Invest $870 Million Over Five Years

Waha Capital PJSC, an Abu Dhabi investment firm, is looking to invest about 3.2 billion dirhams ($870 million) in the next three to five years in industries ranging from energy and infrastructure to healthcare and education.

“We have firepower to deploy,” Chief Executive Officer Salem Rashid Al Noaimi said in a telephone interview Sunday in Abu Dhabi. “This firepower is available for us right now. We’re keen on deploying it, but the pressure to deploy, that is really focused on value creation.”

Waha has raised the funds from a revolving credit facility and a financing based on its investment in AerCap Holdings NV shares. Shares in Waha have gained 10 percent this year, compared with a 0.5 percent increase in Abu Dhabi’s ADX General index.

Noaimi said the company has “high expectations” from investment in energy in the medium-to-long term. He said Waha is “actively looking” at investment opportunities in education.

The company said in a presentation published in December that it sees potential investments of as much as 4 billion dirhams, with about 2 billion dirhams in oil, gas and energy, 500 million dirhams in healthcare, 500 million dirhams in education and the rest in power and infrastructure.

Noaimi said Waha was seeking regulator’s approval to start two asset-management funds, one for equities and another for fixed income directed at external institutional and high-net-worth clients. He said he expected the Securities and Commodities Authority to make a decision this year. The company already has an investment-banking license.

Investment Potential

Waha already has two funds investing the company’s money, each with assets totaling $100 million, he said, adding that the funds’ 10 to 15 employees are able to handle two to three times the capital they have on hand.

“What we would like to do is go out to market and raise third-party capital,” he said. “Our ambition is to grow these funds dramatically over the next three to five years.”

Waha reported today an annual profit of 1.73 billion dirhams compared to 306.4 million a year ago. The profit was driven in most part from the company’s AerCap investment.

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