The Dubai-based Arabian General Investment Corporation (Agico) has won approval from shareholders for a restructuring plan which involves cutting its share capital by about 28 per cent to AED 200 million ($54.4 million).

The reduction in share capital is intended to soak up losses incurred in the early 1990s by the company, which has a variety of property and industrial investments in the Arab world and Europe. The approval was given on 9 October by the third extraordinary shareholders’ meeting this year – the first two were held up by regulatory hitches (MEED 19:7:96).

Agico also won approval to buy back up to 10 per cent of its shares. ‘[This] is intended to enable and encourage the thousands of Arab small shareholders to sell their shares back to the corporation,’ Agico said in a statement. ‘At present, small shareholders outside the UAE and Kuwait – where shares are not easily realisable – have been at a disadvantage.’ Agico shares are listed on the Kuwait bourse and traded on the UAE’s unofficial market.

By buying back its shares from investors outside the UAE, Agico will be able to sell them within the country. This will bring share ownership by UAE nationals over the 51 per cent level required for ‘various economic activities in the UAE’, the company said.