x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Dividend lifts Waha Capital to highest point in two years

Waha Capital rose to the highest level in almost two years, after the Abu Dhabi based investment and leasing company recommended the highest dividend to investors in eight years.

Waha Capital rose to its highest level in almost two years, after the Abu Dhabi-based investment and leasing company recommended the largest dividend to investors in eight years.

Waha's board recommended a cash dividend of 6 fils per share for last year, compared with a payout of 5 fils in 2011, the Abu Dhabi firm said in a statement yesterday.

Waha's shares advanced 1.3 per cent to 77 fils, the highest closing price since April 2011.

"Shareholders will consider and vote on the company's financial statements, proposed dividend, and confirmation of board remuneration packages, as well as the appointment of the company's auditors," the statement said.

The dividend suggestion is subject to shareholder approval at the annual general assembly slated to take place on April 4. It amounts to the highest payout Waha has offered to investors since Bloomberg started tracking the information in 2004.

Waha's net income surged 38 per cent to Dh214.44 million (US$58.3m) last year from Dh155.3 million in 2011.

"We have taken important strategic decisions to structure the company with an aim to generate attractive and sustainable returns for our shareholders in the future, and have full confidence that the company will deliver the desired result," the company said last month when it released its annual results.

Waha attributed the increase in profit on the back of strong performances from its investee companies, including New York-listed Aercap.

Aercap, one of the world's largest aircraft leasing firms, purchased 20 new aircraft, delivered 35 aircraft under lease and signed lease agreements for 47 aircraft. The company's portfolio stands at 333 aircraft and total assets of $10 billion.

Waha decided not to participate in the company's share buy-back programme, which resulted in an increase in its ownership of the Netherlands-based company. Waha now controls 26.3 per cent of the company, compared with 21.3 per cent before the initiative.