Welcome to PADICO HOLDING. Welcome to Palestine’s most pioneering and diversified Holding Company. Our founding shareholders; when they had a vision to establish an investment vehicle dedicated to nation building in Palestine back in 1993; had one central ambition; which was to help their nation recover from years of turmoil and hardship and contribute to rebuilding the economic sectors with international standards in order to allow sustainable viability and competitiveness in an ever changing regional as well as global economic landscape.
Our pioneering spirit still continues to forge ahead in every step we take. We intend to remain empowered by this spirit and governed by our ethics. As such, today the company and according to the strategic direction,the board of directors has finalized a restructuring program designed to achieve economies of scale for the company’s operations thus enhancing all our revenue streams and reducing expenses and operational redundancies. We are introducing additional best practice to our management systems and empowering our executive management to take bolder decisions in order to achieve our twin objective to contribute more efficiently to nation building and grow our shareholder value by sustaining profits from pioneering commercial and socially viable investments.
Emboldened by a significant growth in operating revenues from US$ 83.9 million in 2009 to US$ to US$ 102.2 million in 2010, we intend to build on this growth in our financial performance to position our company in a yet more advanced standing. In order to achieve this we have instructed our executive management to build on the optimization achievements coming from the restructuring efforts and create a more aggressive and socially responsible investment drive for the next 5 years.
Our main objective is to remain the leading nation company among our peers and partners. As such in 2011 PADICO HOLDING has initiated several investments in new sectors mainly in renewable energy, recycling, water and agriculture. These socially responsible investments constitute a mainstay for the company’s drive to grow its business and yet help contribute to the ever evolving nation building needs of a country in the making. We shall report more progress on these pioneering projects in energy, water and the environment as we move ahead. Additionally, our executive management is strengthening our remaining investment portfolio in real estate, tourism and manufacturing.
PADICO HOLDING has recently successfully issued the first corporate bonds in Palestine at a value of USD $70 million. The Bonds will be especially opportune for PADICO Holding’s investment strategy targeting medium and long term strategic projects, providing the company with adequate liquidity; therefore replacing the need for short term banking loans, while preserving a consistent cash dividend policy. Such a technique will help us to finance mega projects in the coming period. Upcoming mega projects are the power generation project in the north at a cost of USD 300 Million and the mixed used mega real estate development project in Jericho.
We have also pioneered another issuance of an International Financial Instrument. Our company has successfully launched the first of its kind Global Depositary Receipts (GDR) program in Palestine. The GDR program was established in cooperation with BNY Mellon as the depositary Bank. Each PADICO HOLDING GDR represents 5 ordinary shares and trades on the London over-the-counter (OTC) market. Again this is a true milestone for the Palestinian financial services sector in general, and for PADICO HOLDING in particular enhancing PADICO’s visibility throughout the global financial markets.
PADICO HOLDING can proudly claim that it is the only investment holding in the country with active investments in Jerusalem. Our project list in Jerusalem is growing and we see the potential to grow our presence in hospitality, real estate and other services in the holy city. These are the proof points of our promise and every project is uniquely celebrated by our board, management and the community at large. That is our passion; growing our business and building the nation. Despite the continued status quo in the diplomatic process, we are continuing to work in Gaza, among our other many investments, we are proud to finally have our 5 star internationally operated Hotel in Gaza open up to welcome guests to our beloved coastal strip. We continue to take measures and steps to be more committed nationally and better governed internally.
In helping achieve a universal culture of good practice and better governance in Palestine, a mission equally important for our values; PADICO HOLDING continues to work with the relevant authorities to transform the Palestine Exchange, a PADICO HOLDING investment, from a private company to a publicly listed company. This will give an added level of comfort to local and international investors providing the Exchange with more transparency and better governance. We truly believe that the stock market remains the main investment window for many international and regional investment funds to come and invest in Palestine at least in portfolio investments.
I will end by focusing a bit more on our corporate social responsibility and leave you more chance to read about it in the designated section of our website. PADICO HOLDING has recognized its set of responsibilities at an early stage; to its employees, to its shareholders, and to the community at large. In addition to becoming Palestine’s first corporate signatory to the UN Global Compact, we are taking more steps to be socially responsible in our investments and paying more attention to best practice in our management, implementing new codes of conduct and signing up to international codes as well. We are also becoming more responsible and focused in our sponsorships and our charity donations in order to ensure we do create an empowered generation of hope and change that is capable of nation building with us.
With my esteemed regards,
Munib R. Masri