Will Alpha Dhabi follow Aldar in making a full-scale entry into Egypt? Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: Alpha Dhabi Holding, the third-largest public firm in the UAE, is looking at opportunities in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, according to its CEO.

Both markets are “promising,” Hamad Al-Ameri said. Egypt is a huge market which can absorb more deals while Saudi Arabia has “strong growth,” he said. Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous nation, and Saudi Arabia, the region’s biggest economy, have emerged as key markets for UAE-based firms seeking growth.

First Abu Dhabi Bank, UAE’s largest lender, last week offered to buy a majority stake in EFG Hermes. And the country’s biggest Islamic bank is scouting for deals in countries including Saudi Arabia, its chief executive said this month.

Alpha Dhabi operates in sectors including construction, hospitality and healthcare, and has already announced a string of deals, mostly within the UAE. The firm holds stakes in companies ranging from UAE’s largest healthcare provider to Abu Dhabi real estate giant Aldar Properties, which has exposure to Egypt. “We’re tapping and looking at other markets as well,” Alpha Dhabi’s Al-Ameri said. “One of the most important things that we’re benefiting from as a group is each company in the existing ecosystem speaks to the other to see opportunities.”

The firm went public last June, quickly becoming one of the Middle East’s biggest listed firms. In its most recent earnings report, Alpha Dhabi reported an annual profit of Dh5.2 billion ($1.4 billion), up from 218 million dirhams a year ago. The focus will remain on growth, Al-Ameri said. The company has already earmarked as much as Dh8 billion to deploy in sectors ranging from hospitality to petrochemicals, it said last year.

International Holding Company has a 44 per cent stake in Alpha Dhabi, which was formerly known as Trojan Holding.