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01 March 2024

UAE fund to buy local financial firm for Dh367m

UAE dirham is among the world’s top 25 currencies for exchange rate stability. (FIle)


Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG) aims to complete the $100 million (Dh367m) buyout of a local financial services firm by June, strengthening a shift towards expanding its business via acquisitions, its chief executive said.

It would be the third purchase by the privately-owned investment firm in the non-banking financial services sector in recent months, including a 45 percent stake in the brokerage business of First Gulf Bank and Integrated Capital.

"From organic, we want to grow through acquisitions," Jassim Alseddiqi told Reuters in an interview.

"We will see some more acquisitions in areas that will be complementary to our group," he said, declining to name the financial services company.

With about $2.5 billion of assets under management, ADFG's focus is on real estate and financial services.

It bought the headquarters of the London Metropolitan Police, New Scotland Yard, for £370 million in December and prior to that 1 Palace Street, adjacent to Buckingham Palace, for an undisclosed sum.

Both are being redeveloped, with work due to be completed by end-2020 and end-2017 respectively.

Meanwhile, ADFG's $200 million fund, Qannas Investments has invested about $80 million in London, Europe and the UAE since listing on London's AIM in 2012.

"We are working on £2 billion (Dh11.14bn) worth of projects in the UK to be released in the next five years," said Alseddiqi.

While ADFG funds its investments through equity and debt, it plans to grow its alternative debt business also. So far, it has granted $1 billion in financing to small and medium-sized firms, mainly in real estate.

"We will do more short-term, high-interest and strong security lending to firms in sectors such as energy and education in addition to real estate," he said.