Date: 30 December 2014
DI aims to enter new fields in its three main sectors, namely: real estate, which occupies 65% of DI’s total investments, and industrial and financial services sectors, which account for 20% and 15%, respectively, he added. In his interview with Mubasher, Kalban highlighted that DI will focus primarily on industries that finance the construction sector, such as building materials, aluminum, and glass.This stems from the idea that the construction sector is the driving force of economic growth in the UAE, he indicated. Exits and acquisitions DI is currently at an advanced stage of negotiations to acquire 51% of two companies, of which one operates in providing financial services, while the other operates in real estate investment, Kalban told Mubasher, adding that total investments from the acquisitions amounts to $100 million. The decision to acquire a financial services company is a correct one, Kalban said, noting that such an acquisition is likely to help DI in preparing some of the firms in its portfolio for IPOs. The Company which DI seeks to acquire has great expertise in asset management, institutional consultations, loan collection and financial brokerage, the CEO revealed. DI is about to conduct a study related to exiting a new company, after it exited Globalpharma by selling 66% of the Company at AED 450 million. This divestiture is to be carried out through launching an initial public offering (IPO) by the end of 2015 and not through a commercial sale, he added, indicating that among DI’s most important activities are those of divestitures, acquisitions and IPOs. Kalban had previously said in an interview that his Company is planning to invest AED 3.65 billion in the UAE’s local real estate market during 2015 through four new projects. DI is also studying several other projects worth AED 6.35 billion in Dubai Investment Park, where Dubai Investments Real Estate Company, a DI subsidiary, will develop a new project in Mirdif, Dubai at a cost of AED 2.5 billion. DI had previously announced five-year plans during which it seeks to invest more than AED 10 billion in the real estate market. Strong profits Kalban had expected that Dubai Investments would see strong growth in its fourth quarter financials this year, reaching AED 300-400 million and reaching a total of AED 1.3.-1.4 billion overall in 2014, reflecting the firm’s strong and diversified investment portfolio supported by an increasing growth policy from one end and a growing market stake from the other. DI profits leaped by 87% to AED 994.6 million during the first nine months of 2014 compared to figures from the same period in 2013. Investment plans Regarding DI’s investment plans, the CEO told Mubasher that such plans depend mainly on cash inflows achieved in the Company’s various sectors, added to profits resulting from divestitures and exits. In response to the question on whether or not DI is planning to issue bonds or Sukuk to finance its projects, Kalban highlighted that there is no intention to issue new bonds in the short term. Crude prices effect temporary Expressing his views regarding the recent plunge in crude prices, Kalban noted that markets will be temporarily affected. Accordingly, limiting the effects of price fluctuations in financial markets should be the top policy introduced by companies in their daily operations. This “temporary” issue will not last and will not leave deep marks on the UAE’s economy particularly as both the UAE’s public and private sectors enjoy a variety of income sources, the CEO noted, adding that the UAE’s dependence on oil does not exceed 30%, with other sources accounting for the remaining 70%. The UAE has the ability to continue in its various projects at the same rate, if not higher, due to the expected recoveries particularly after the launch of the Dubai 2021 vision, Kalban added.