Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 8 April 2020

Shuaa aims to increase asset base to $20bn as it plans to boost operations

Enlarged company is targeting regional growth in investment banking and asset management

Shuaa Capital increased assets under management to $14bn by the end of 2019. Jaime Puebla / The National
Shuaa Capital increased assets under management to $14bn by the end of 2019. Jaime Puebla / The National

Shuaa Capital plans to expand investment banking and asset management businesses as part of a new strategy to grow money it manages to $20 billion (Dh73.4bn), the company said as it revealed its first full-year results since 2019's reverse takeover by Abu Dhabi Financial Group.

The company's expansion strategy "sets the foundation for significant and sustainable growth, despite market challenges resulting from Covid-19 and falling oil prices”, said Shuaa Capital chief executive, Jassim Alseddiqi.

“Our strategic plans, ambition and talent will enable us to strengthen our position as a leading regional investment manager, achieve regional dominance in investment banking and solidify our innovation leadership,” he added.

The reverse takeover of Shuaa Capital by ADFG, which completed in August last year, created an entity with $12.8bn of assets under management, more than 12,500 clients and 380 employees.

By the end of 2019, the company managed $14bn and had agreed to sell its brokerage arm, Shuaa Securities, as well as its equities market-making unit for a combined Dh100m. Both businesses were considered non-core assets.

Shuaa’s new strategy involves strengthening its core operations through expansion of its investment banking and asset management businesses as well as growing its regional footprint.

The company is looking to grow recurring income through offering new products, growing permanent capital vehicles and expanding its fixed income business. It also plans to become more profitable by digitalising processes and improving operational efficiency, Shuaa said.

Company's chairman Fadhel Alali said: “While operating under a new vision and strategy, we have confidence in the management capability to deliver. Full integration will enable us to leverage Shuaa's asset management and investment banking capabilities and realise our ambitious growth targets for 2020 and beyond.”

Shuaa's shares were among the few gainers on the Dubai Financial Market on Tuesday. By 1.02pm, its shares were up 7.6 per cent, while the market-wide index was trading 4.2 per cent lower. Total operating income of the enlarged business more than doubled to Dh277.9m, but the company revealed net profit to owners fell 18 per cent to Dh46.8m as it made Dh22.1m worth of provisions against the value of some assets. The company’s board is proposing that it does not pay a dividend.

Updated: March 17, 2020 07:57 PM

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