By Andy Sambidge
Investment firm's chairman delivers 'very positive' outlook for 2014; eyes growth across all sectors
Dubai Investments has raised its foreign ownership limit from 20 percent to 35 percent, as part of a growing trend among companies in the UAE.
The proposal was approved at the company's Annual General Meeting and Extraordinary General Meeting which also approved a proposal to distribute seven percent cash dividend and seven percent bonus shares for 2013.
Dubai Investments said in a bourse filing that it expects its first-quarter net profit to rise 26 percent.
The company said its profit for the three months to March 31 would likely be AED265 million ($72.2 million). That would compare with a profit of AED211 million in the prior-year period.
Chairman Sohail Faris Ghanim Al Mazrui said in a separate statement: "The outlook for 2014 is very positive with economic indicators pointing to growth across all sectors, led by an upswing in the real estate sector - particularly in companies engaged in the manufacturing of construction materials, which remains one of our key focus areas at Dubai Investments.
"We have a strong thrust in developing our real estate portfolio during the year. We are also actively working on certain divestments as well as new acquisitions, which are expected to contribute significant returns to the shareholders."
The company's decision is part of a trend by companies in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar to review their foreign ownership caps before international index compiler MSCI raises those countries to emerging market status in May, which is expected to attract fresh foreign money.
This is good news and bad news. The bad news means that the majority of the shares currently held are held by locals. This means that if a few big positions are held by locals and they plan on unloading then this stock could really tank to prevent a big tank there needs to be a someone buying to absorb this fall so they increase the foreign ownership percentage allowed.
Good one one side but be very cautious on the other side.