Restructured For Growth

Economic News

22 Jul 2010
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The shake up of the investment market is continuing, with Dubai International Capital, the international investment operation of Dubai Holding, announcing a major restructuring.

Under DIC's new structure, announced on July 12, four specialised investment divisions will be created, dedicated to managing specific classes of assets. Of the four, DIC Private Equity will be tasked with managing and expanding the company's portfolio of international buyouts and investments in international private equity funds. Under its mandate, it will also seek out new international investment opportunities. With $6bn already in managed assets, the plan is for this to be extended to $10bn within the next two years.

All of DIC's global public equities investments and those made through Dubai's Global Strategic Equities Fund are to be managed by the second division, DIC Global Equities, which will also identify investment opportunities for the fund. It has also been set the objective of creating a portfolio of undervalued companies and building them up, with the division targeting $10bn in assets by 2009.

The third arm of the new structure foresees DIC Emerging Markets developing the company's investment portfolio in the Middle East and North Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America, while the fourth, DIC Asset Management, will serve to provide the other divisions with marketing and deal with investor relations.

Sameer al-Ansari, DIC's executive chairman and CEO, said having specialised divisions to manage and develop the company's diversified investment portfolio was in line with the aim of building on DIC's position as a leading international investment firm.

"Our phenomenal growth in the past two years, coupled with our ambitions to have over $25bn of assets under management within the next two years, has necessitated a restructuring that will allow us to be more focused on asset classes and to attract professionals with deep specialisation in the respective ones."

While it may be in the process of an internal overhaul, DIC's restructuring has not slowed the company down. On July 12, it announced it had acquired a 2.87% stake in Indian financial services firm ICICI Bank.

Through its investment in India's second largest bank, with assets of $79bn, DIC has gained a firm foothold on the subcontinent. Though the exact price paid by the Dubai corporation was not disclosed, ICICI's present share valuation would put DIC's stake at about $740m.

Announcing the acquisition, al-Ansari said it was a further step in the firm's programme of international expansion.

"The strategic investment in ICICI supports the global diversification and growth mandate for DIC and its parent company, Dubai Holding, and we are confident that this investment will underscore a long-term strategic relationship between DIC and ICICI," he said in a press release.

The ICICI deal came hard on the heels of DIC buying 3.12% of the shares of aerospace company European Aeronautic and Space Company (EADS), the parent firm of aircraft producer Airbus. The EADS acquisition made DIC one of the largest institutional shareholders in the company, it said in a statement issued on July 7.

DIC has in the past been criticised for having a far too scattered portfolio of investments, with assets ranging from the Tussauds Group (UK), the famed waxworks proprietor; budget hotels chain Travelodge UK; and a stake in the Merlin Entertainments Group, along with engineering, manufacturing, banking and automotive companies.

However, the restructuring aims to focus the company's activities, without limiting its programme of diversification, as stressed by DIC's executive chairman.

"This change puts us on the right track to better allocate suitable resources to each specialised division, each with its own defined and dedicated vision and strategy, and will help to attract the right calibre of individuals who will support our ambitious goals for the coming period," al-Ansari said.

With those ambitions including a near doubling of assets under management within the next two years, the newly restructured DIC will obviously be in the market for more acquisitions.

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