Dubai Investments to lift foreign ownership limit on shares

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Dubai Investments, the owner of Dubai Investments Park, said yesterday it plans to lift the foreign ownership limit on its shares to 35 per cent from 20 per cent, simultaneously reducing the allocation for UAE nationals.

Ahead of the inclusion of UAE and Qatar equities in MSCI’s Emerging Markets Index in May, a number of companies listed in Dubai, including Union Properties, Mashreq and Dubai Islamic Bank have moved to increase allocations for foreign investors in the hope of tapping into an estimated US$516 million of new money flowing into local markets.

Dubai Investments also said it would pay out a dividend of 7 per cent and issue 5 per cent bonus shares for 2013.

On Sunday, it said its private equity arm Masharie had helped it realise almost Dh108m in profits over the past decade.

“We are negotiating some direct investments opportunities in growing sectors which will further accelerate our profitability. Among these, we are constantly assessing new investment prospects in the financial industry, such as equities, and also targeting investments in bonds,” said Khalid Al Jarwan, the general manager of Masharie.

Masharie, which has acquired a total of 23 companies since its incorporation in 1998, currently owns 12 companies in its portfolio across heavy industry.

It has divested stakes in Metrofile Middle East, Emirates Explosives, Gulf Printing & Publishing, Thermoset Technologies, Stromek Emirates Foundations, Al Arif Contracting and Power Factor Facilities Management with returns on investment of up to 600 per cent, Dubai Investments said.

Abdul Aziz Yaqob Al Serkal, the general manager of Dubai Investments, yesterday rang the market opening bell to celebrate the listing of a US$300m sukuk by Dubai Investments Park on Nasdaq Dubai. It is the only GCC issuer to sell a dollar-denominated sukuk this year; the offer was 11 times oversubscribed.

The proceeds will be used to pay down bank debt and for a number of acquisitions. Dubai Investments Park has said it would soon unveil a number of “iconic” projects across the UAE that would include developments in Meydan, Mirdif and Jumeirah Village Circle in Dubai as well as other ventures in Fujairah and Abu Dhabi.

The real estate assets of Dubai Investments Park cover 30 million square feet and are worth more than Dh8.3 billion, the firm said.

A number of food manufacturers, including the maker of Chocodates, are setting up factories in Dubai Investments Park.

Shares in Dubai Investments fell 1.18 per cent to Dh3.34 on the DFM yesterday.