On the operational side, Shuaa made headway in Q1-2022, most notably by raising $100 million for a SPAC fund. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: The Dubai fund manager Shuaa Capital recorded a drop in first quarter 2022 net profit to Dh6 million from Dh25 million a year ago, after an asset write-down. If that item was excluded, net profit would actually have been Dh37 million.

The company says its operations will be fairly resilient against the economic and geopolitical headwinds facing the markets. “The strengths of our business model are the high degree of diversification and our ability to adapt quickly and take advantage of market opportunities whilst continuing to build on increasing our recurring revenues and strengthening our balance-sheet,” said Jassim Alseddiqi, Group CEO.

“Against this backdrop, we acquired another vessels company within the Thalassa fund, launched Shuaa Venture Partners and successfully raised a $100 million SPAC during the quarter, demonstrating our ability to effectually execute in a challenging environment.”

Headway on de-leveraging

Last year, Shuaa had shut down a non-core unit and transferred all of the residual assets to its principal investments, ‘to be managed together with the other assets within the Group’. In Q1-2022, the firm proactively worked to wind down these items with multiple smaller disposals either completed, in progress or in the pipeline.

“The Group’s leverage ratio continues to decline with adjusted debt Dh212 million lower than 12 months ago,” the company said. “Reported debt-to-equity ratio declined by a net 22 per cent points to 112 per cent during the quarter, which makes it the lowest ratio since 2019.”

Priority plans

* In the Group’s asset management segment, the debt vertical had announced in March the launch of a regional venture debt fund. SHUAA Venture Partners will provide alternative capital solutions to high-growth companies across the GCC.

* The private markets vertical saw the acquisition of Allianz Marine and Services Holding - via the Thalassa managed fund - and the second such in the offshore supply vessels space after the 2020 buy of Stanford Marine Group. This created the largest offshore support vessels (OSV) portfolio in the region and fourth largest fleet in the world.

* Shuaa’s investment banking segment raised $100 million for a SPAC listed on Nasdaq to support the future listing of a Middle East tech company, ‘helping to expand the Group's support for regional talent while providing clients with access to high-quality investment opportunities’.

* The Group also has a strategic investment in UAE-based fintech Souqalmal, which will support Shuaa’s strategy to expand its digital offerings, expand personal finance and investment opportunities for consumers.