Abu Dhabi's Waha buys stake in healthcare firm

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Abu Dhabi investment firm Waha Capital said on Sunday it had invested an undisclosed amount in a newly established healthcare group in the United Arab Emirates through majority stakes purchased in some of its hospital and laboratory assets.

Waha, whose shareholders include Abu Dhabi government entities, said the investment in Dubai-based Anglo Arabian Healthcare (AAH) would help to support the healthcare firm's expansion plans in the next five years.

Healthcare businesses in the Gulf region are expected to boom in coming years as rising wealth couples with an increase in so-called lifestyle diseases - for example, five of the six Gulf Cooperation Council nations are in the global top 10 for prevalence of diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation.

AAH owns and operates 16 assets and employs over 300 people in hospitals, clinics, pharmacies and diagnostic centers across the UAE, Waha Capital said in a statement.

Under the deal, Waha bought majority stakes in the Sharjah Corniche Group, the Ajman-based Ibn Sina Group and Ibn Sina Hospital, and Proficiency Central Laboratories, which owns laboratories in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

Waha Capital owns stakes in companies such as New York-listed aircraft lessor AerCap Holdings and consumer finance company Dunia Finance.

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