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2011 Mar 27

Waha Capital to distribute 3% cash dividends and 9.5% bonus shares

Abu Dhabi, March 27, 2011: The Annual General Assembly of Waha Capital PJSC, the leading investment holding company listed on ADX, approved the recommendation of the Board of Directors to distribute bonus shares equivalent to 9.5% and cash dividends equivalent to 3% of the company's paid-up capital to shareholders.

The announcement came during the Annual General Assembly that took place today in Abu Dhabi, chaired by His Excellency Hussain Jassim Al Nowais, Chairman of Waha Capital, and attended by the company’s shareholders, Board members, and executive management.

His Excellency Hussain Jassim Al Nowais commented: "Last year, particularly the first half, witnessed a sharp economic downturn which impacted many economic sectors both locally and globally. Despite these challenges, Waha was able to maintain a stable and balanced performance and was also able to reach a net profit after tax of AED 249 million, compared to AED 217 million in 2009. Similarly, return on equity increased to 12.2% as compared to 11.6% in 2009. This demonstrates the group’s solid foundation and the strength of our diversification and sustainable business strategy".

According to Al Nowais, the past years witnessed the announcement of several investment initiatives in line with Waha Capital's strategy. The investments also reflected the group's strong commitment to improve its performance; in November 2010, Waha Capital completed an acquisition of a 20% interest in AerCap Holdings N.V., a leading Dutch-based New York Stock Exchange-listed aviation company for a total consideration of approximately USD 380 million. The transaction resulted in the acquisition of approximately 29.8 million shares in AerCap and transfer of Waha’s 50% interest in AerVenture and a 40% interest in Waha’s aircraft portfolio. Under the terms of the agreements, Waha is also entitled to nominate two directors to the Board of Aercap. AerCap will provide all management services for Waha’s aircraft portfolio in return for servicing fees.

Through this transaction, Waha reinforced its existing partnership with AerCap and consolidated its investments in the aviation sector through a leading global player. In addition, Waha diversified its current aviation exposure by investing in a larger and more modern aircraft fleet with broader geographic reach, while benefiting from AerCap’s world-class expertise. This transaction is considered as a live example of the company's business strategy based on building strategic partnerships to enhance value to all existing and future projects".

Al Nowais noted: "We are confident that this partnership will be a successful one and that Waha will strengthen AerCap’s presence in the region’s rapidly expanding aviation market". Al Nowais highlighted that this transaction led to a significantly strengthened balance sheet for Waha Capital by swapping some illiquid assets with publicly listed shares in a major aviation company with a diversified fleet of aircraft. This transaction represented another tangible step in the execution of the company's vision of building value through strategic partnerships.

Al Nowais continued that Waha Maritime has contributed to the strong performance of the group by improving its fleet of support vessels through the addition of one vessel in 2010, and through its 49% ownership in GMMOS group, a regional oil and gas services and industrial group operating in the Gulf and Caspian markets. Furthermore, Waha Marine Agency, a subsidiary of Waha Maritime, received the ISO 9001:2008 compliance certification from Lloyd’s Register as well as the ISO 14001: 2004 ‘Statement of Commitment’ certification for its commitment to implementing an environmental management system. The ISO 9001 and the ISO 14001 ‘Statement of Commitment’ certifications are in line with Waha Maritime’s objective of building businesses that can bring long-term benefits and value to the maritime industry while delivering quality services to its clients.

He noted that Waha Land, the real estate arm of Waha Capital, continued construction on Phase 1 of its flagship mixed-use industrial development, ALMARKAZ. The company also selected an outstanding group of national companies specialized in the building and construction industry to build 90,000 square metres of light industrial buildings and for the construction of the infrastructure works in the initial phase of the project. The first group of industrial units is planned to be handed over by the end of the second quarter of 2011 along with the sectional completion of infrastructure works.

Al Nowais went on to state that Waha Financial Services (WFS) was mandated by the U.A.E. Armed Forces to arrange and manage the purchase of several military aircraft valued at approximately AED 11 billion. The first phase of the deal was concluded in December 2009, and included the purchase of nine military aircraft on behalf of the U.A.E. Armed Forces, in a deal valued at approximately AED 6.7 billion. Waha Financial Services continued to execute other phases of this deal throughout the last year. Further, WFS received mandates from a number of clients for arranging and financing assets and generated additional fee income.

Al Nowais thanked the leadership represented by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and His Highness 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 for their continuous support to all national companies and for their remarkable efforts for the good of our country and citizens.

Salem Rashid Al Noaimi, Chief Executive Officer of Waha Capital, said: "During 2010, Waha Capital succeeded in positioning its businesses and activities, in spite of economic challenges both locally and globally, to achieve continuous growth and sustainable profitability. This is a reflection of the diversification strategy, which has been designed and implemented to generate the highest possible risk adjusted return on investment to the company's shareholders".

Al Noaimi noted that the rise in net profits in 2010 was driven mainly by the restructuring of Waha’s aircraft leasing business through which Waha acquired a 20% stake in the world’s leading independent aircraft leasing company, Aercap Holdings N.V. This transaction has propelled Waha on its diversification strategy and has strengthened significantly Waha's financial capabilities by reducing its debt to capital ratio and improving the quality of its assets as well as its future earnings.

He added, Waha Capital would continue to seek strong investment opportunities with high profitability and lower risk, particularly in the UAE markets, where the company is currently considering a number of investment opportunities across various sectors. Furthermore, the company is constantly monitoring global and local market indicators to assist in evaluating and selecting strong investment opportunities. In the near term, the company will continue to identify additional opportunities, conduct appropriate research and choose the right timing to invest.

He concluded that these results and developments at Waha in 2010 were due to the dedication and strong support and guidance of its Board of Directors and employees who have exerted tremendous efforts and energy to overcoming challenges and achieving the best results.

It is worth noting that Waha Capital announced last January that the group’s profit increased by 15% in 2010 to AED 249 million compared to AED 217 million in 2009. Operating revenues, income from investments in associates and other operating income were AED 657 million during the year, down by 22% as compared to 2009 primarily due to the restructuring of Waha’s leasing business and consolidation of investments in the aviation sector during 2010, whereas the group’s operating costs (including administrative and other expenses) decreased by 37% to AED 408 million from AED 637 million in 2009 mainly due to a one-off impairment provision on operating lease assets during 2009. Also, Waha’s earnings per share was AED 0.14 in 2010 as compared to AED 0.13 in 2009.

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