Waha Capital delivered another strong performance in 2015, with our increasingly diversified portfolio of investments serving the company well despite a challenging environment for the global economy and markets.
The strength of Waha Capital’s business is founded on our long-held strategy of diversification of our direct investments, across sectors that include aircraft leasing, financial services, healthcare and energy. Over the last four years, the company has also built a very successful track record in capital markets, with our credit and equities portfolios adding liquidity to the balance sheet and producing excellent returns that have excelled their benchmarks.
AerCap Holdings, in which we have been a major shareholder since 2010, is now firmly established as the global leader in aircraft leasing, with a portfolio of 1,700 aircraft. Waha Capital has shown its confidence in AerCap by raising our stake through open market transactions to 15.4% from 12.6% at the end of 2014.
Among our other investments, Dunia Finance and Anglo Arabian Healthcare Group, continued to grow impressively in 2015 and are both becoming mature businesses with strong brands. Meanwhile, Stanford Marine Group and National Petroleum Services won new contracts despite the notable downturn in the oil and gas services industry. Both firms are fully focused on maintaining fortitude during this difficult period, and should be well positioned to take advantage of a cyclical recovery.
Waha Capital also continues to benefit from low-volatility assets, such as its investments in the MENA Infrastructure Fund and in the ALMARKAZ light industrial real estate development, which is pushing ahead with further development after fully leasing the first 90,000 m2 of high quality space.
While Waha Capital continued to prosper in 2015, the company’s Board and management remain cautious on the regional and global macro-economic outlook and the potential for continued volatility in securities markets. The company places a strong emphasis on risk management and mitigation, and employs stringent processes at the corporate level and across the investment teams.
Nevertheless, we are also aware that the current environment may represent an opportune time to deploy capital. As a nimble company that benefits from a strong balance sheet, we believe that Waha Capital is in an excellent position to take advantage of attractive opportunities. We are therefore committing resources to the sourcing of proprietary transactions in areas of the economy where we believe there is significant potential for the creation of shareholder value.
Given our excellent track record in direct and capital markets investments through business and market cycles, Waha Capital is also well placed to offer our expertise to third party investors. In the coming year, the company will be taking funds to the market, with the long-term aim of establishing robust fee-generating businesses.
On behalf of the Board and the management of the company, I would like to express my gratitude for the support and guidance of the Government of Abu Dhabi, and the visionary leadership of H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.
Furthermore, I would like to thank the Board of Directors for their expert guidance, which has shaped the success of the company in recent years. I would also like to express my appreciation to Waha Capital’s management and employees for their dedication and hard work.
Hussain J. Al Nowais
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD