By: Amr Adel
Dubai – Mubasher: Amanat Holdings is planning to invest AED 1 billion ($272.5 million) in new acquisitions in the healthcare and education sectors in Saudi Arabia and the UAE until the end of 2017, the company’s chairman has said.
Amanat has reached an advanced level in its negotiations with a number of companies for acquisitions to broaden its range of capital investments, said chairman Faisal Bin Juma Belhoul.
Since its incorporation to-date, Amanat Holdings has invested AED 732 million, which make up 30% of its capital, the top official added at a press conference.
The chairman noted that the invested sum will be increased to AED 1.73 billion by the end of the year, bringing the total value of investments to around 70% of capital.
Belhoul further highlighted that 2017 would be the year when Amanat increases its investments by selecting notable acquisitions in several companies in the healthcare and education sectors by seeking partnerships and adding to the value of those companies.
Amanat plans to invest in all GCC markets in general, wherever there are feasible opportunities, the top official stated, stressing that the company’s presence is mainly in the Saudi and the UAE markets, which represent around 80% of overall spending in the education and healthcare segments across the GCC.
Amanat’s last acquisition was closed in January 2017, when the Dubai-listed company acquired 13.18% of International Medical Centre’s capital in Saudi Arabia in consideration of SAR 363.85 million ($97 million).
Commenting on Amanat Holdings’ dividend policy, the top official revealed that his company was moving forward with its current policy, especially after it had paid dividends to shareholders in the first year of operation.
The dividend distribution decision is taken annually in accordance with the company’s liquidity needs and whether there is a better opportunity for investment or not, Belhoul added.
Amanat’s chairman further revealed that his company has a surplus in capital and has no need to increase it for the time being.
He further noted that the company will issue bonds or resort to taking loans when additional funds for investment are needed.
As for the possibility of listing Amanat on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul), the top official said that Amanat has no plans for such listing at the current time as it considers its listing on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) to be enough.
Long-term, Amanat may consider a dual listing on the DFM and Tadawul if there is a need to increase capital, Belhoul said.
The long-term return on investments (ROI) in the education and healthcare sectors is around 15% annually, which could lessen at the beginning of the investment, but improves on the long run, he concluded.
Translated by: Muhammad Abdulwakeel