Abu Dhabi’s Waha Capital plans $500m Shariah-compliant fund

Waha sold 3 million Aercap shares, or 10 per cent of its holding, reducing its overall stake to 12.6% from 14.1%. (File)

Abu Dhabi-based Waha Capital plans to launch its second infrastructure fund this year with a value of $500 million (Dh1.83 billion) to invest in Mena and Turkey.

The investment firm said in an investor presentation released in May that the fund will be Shariah-compliant.

The company launched its 10-year Mena Infrastructure Fund in 2007 with capital commitments of $300m based in Dubai International Financial Centre. The fund has invested $222m over 7 years in four assets in Oman, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

According to Fleming Gulf research estimates, infrastructure projects in transportation including rail, road, and maritime projects worth $422bn (Dh1.54 trillion) are underway in the Gulf and will be completed in the next five years.

The presentation showed that Waha and Mena Infrastructure Fund to consider launching standalone funds focused on specific countries such as Iraq and Libya.

The Abu Dhabi-listed firm reported a net profit of Dh182.2m for the first quarter of 2015, a 20.2 per cent increase from Dh151.6m recorded a year earlier on the back of strong growth in its investments in consumer finance firm Dunia and capital market unit.

The group plans to expand investments in the private education, energy, oil and gas, and industrial sectors to its portfolio, said the investor presentation.

Waha Capital CEO Salem Rashid Al Noaimi told Reuters in an interview earlier this year that the group will invest Dh3.2bn to expand its energy, healthcare and infrastructure portfolios. The presentation also highlighted that the group has established a new unit to drive energy investments across Mena region.

As part of expansion of its industrial real estate portfolio, Waha plans further development of industrial space in Phase I and development of Phases II-IV.