Masri: We are determined to continue developing our economy
Rawabi, 11 May 2022
The General Assembly of Palestine Development and Investment Company Ltd (PADICO) held its 27th annual meeting on 11 May 2022 via electronic communication technology, with the participation of shareholders who hold shares in person and by proxy at 70.7% of the company’s capital, the company’s Secretary General as rapporteur for the meeting, the legal advisors, the external auditor, the representatives of the Palestinian Capital Market Authority and the Palestine Exchange.
During the meeting, the Chairman of BOD, Bashar Masri, presented the Board’s report of 2021, highlighting the most important achievements and successes achieved by the company despite the challenges it faced in that year.
All topics and recommendations on the agenda were also discussed, and the General Assembly approved the administrative report of 2021, the financial statements and the auditor’s report for the fiscal year 2021, in addition to acquitting the members of the BOD, re-electing Ernst & Young as an auditor for the fiscal year 2022 and delegating the Chairman of the Board of Directors to determine its fees.
During the meeting, Masri said, in 2021 were able to overcome Corona pandemic repercussions, after it negatively affected most economic sectors in Palestine and the world at large. We also succeeded, despite the damages our facilities in the Gaza Strip suffered during the last aggression, in moving forward with our vision for the development of the Palestinian economy, and praise be to God, we have reaped the fruits of the great effort and continuous work of manage PADICO’s companies during the last period, which appeared through the financial results 2021. We are determined to continue developing our path, support our investments, and enhance our financial and operational performance in various sectors.”
He added, “Our vision for this year and upcoming years is represented in creating further job opportunities, focusing on areas that witness exceptional circumstances, which investors find it difficult to take risk in them, especially in Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.”
It is worth noting that PADICO achieved large growth of more than 400% in 2021, which amounted to $21.1 million compared to $4.1 million in 2020. It is also noted that the company was able to achieve great success in the third issue of its bonds, the proceeds of which were allocated to amortize the previous bonds, and the bond subscription process witnessed a large acceptance from investors that exceeded the required amount.
As regards the financial performance for the first quarter of 2033, the company achieved net profits that amounted to $6.8 million compared to $5.9 million for the same period of 2021, equivalent to 16%. On this issue, Masri commented that this growth in profits confirms the integrity of the vision and strategy adopted by the Board of Directors in the past few years and is an obvious reflection of the financial position of the company.
In his response to some questions from shareholders about the non-distribution of dividends, Masri said: “once again, I stress that the company’s current policy, which was approved by the Board of Directors on behalf of the shareholders, is to strengthen the company’s financial position to inject more liquidity into the Palestinian economy, which suffers from a scarcity of investors. Some investors want us to distribute dividends, while most shareholders invested in PADICO to be a part of a long-term investment in Palestine and prefer to achieve better returns and sustainable distributions in the future. We hope that the company will be able to distribute dividends to shareholders in the coming years, noting at the same time that PADICO and its companies have distributed more than $1.5 billion since its establishment.
At the level of the important developments witnessed by the PADICO group of companies, Masri pointed out the importance of the efforts led by PADICO during the past two years in modifying the structure of the Palestinian Telecommunications Company to focus its work and basic activities on the communications and information technology sector, by transferring real estate and financial investments to a new company specialized in the field of real estate development in Palestine. Masri added that these efforts were recently culminated by registering “Arkaan Real Estate” company whose founders will be the shareholders of Paltel, each according to his/her number of shares in Paltel on the expected maturity date at the end of next month, and the set date will be announced next month and the new company will be listed in Palestine Exchange at the beginning of the coming July after a few days of the maturity date.
It is expected that “Arkaan Real Estate” company becomes one of the largest listed companies with an asset base of $350 million, including the Jericho Gate project which is being implemented on a total area of more than three (3) million square meters, in addition to a strategic land portfolio in the West Bank and Gaza Strip that qualifies it to implement large real estate projects, along with local developers and contractors on a partnership basis, and to provide the necessary support for the development of this vital sector in order to achieve an urban renaissance.
Arkaan Real Estate company will have investments in financial companies, which will generate annual profits that enhance its financial position and capability to invest in real estate development.
It is worth noting that the Board of Directors of BRICO Real Estate Company is expected to decide not to invest in new projects so that Arkaan Real Estate Company will become the only real estate investment arm of the group.
In line with the state of growth and advancement witnessed by the PADICO Group, Masri pointed out that the company is continuing to consolidate the rules of governance to include all aspects and leadership levels in the group by providing the boards of directors of its subsidiaries and affiliates companies with diverse expertise and competencies.