STOCK ADX NEW   Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange
In a notable asset exit, Eshraq sold the Nuran Marina Hotel in Dubai for Dh133 million. And at a 45 per cent premium to the book value. Image Credit: Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange

Dubai: The ADX-listed asset management firm Eshraq Investments has cut its Board of Directors to 5 positions instead of 7. The firm, which is going through a new growth strategy, has also brought in two new members to the recast board - Fahad Abdul Qader Al Qassim and Jacques Fakhoury.

The decision to downsize the board was taken on September 21, and the wider shareholder base gave its approval on October 31. (The revised board now has four independent directors out of five.)

All of this follows the appointment in August last of CEO Mohamed Al Sayed Al Hashimi, who has been ‘mandated to lead the business on its new and ambitious phase of expansion and development’.

“The board is fully aligned with Management’s strategic objectives,” said a statement issued by Eshraq.

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On October 18, approval was bagged for the company to resume an ambitious share buyback program, in part to capitalize on the ‘company’s very strong balance-sheet position to return excess cash to shareholders’.

Eshraq’s shares trade at a ‘significant discount’ to their book value, and ‘demonstrates management’s confidence in the company’s intrinsic value’. (The stock is trading at Dh0.44.)

On the operational side, the company had sold some of its land and property assets as part of retuning.

In a statement, Eshraq said ‘solid progress on its roadmap to opportunistically extract value from its existing land portfolio’ continues. And that the proceeds go into in assets that present ‘both a capital appreciation and income opportunity’.

Eshraq’s most recent divestment saw the sale of the Nuran Marina Hotel in Dubai for Dh133 million - and a 45 per cent premium to its book value.

The new Eshraq appointees
Fahad Abdul Qader Al Qassim’s experience has been in portfolio management and investment banking. He is CEO of Healthcare and Life Sciences at ADQ and acting Director-General at the UAE Endowments’ and Minors’ Funds Authority. Prior to that, he was CEO of Emirates NBD Capital and Head of Principal Investments at Waha Capital.

Jacques Fakhoury is currently serving as Senior Advisor to PwC Middle East, with 44 years’ experience in audit, risk assurance, transaction services, consulting, tax services, and disputes analysis.

Eshraq’s other board members are. Matar Al Ameri, Maha Al Fahim and Ajit Joshi.