Egypt’s Maridive and Oil Services approved a dividend of one bonus share for every five held, a move that will boost its capital 20 percent to finance expansion, officials said on Monday.

The company’s fleet of over 60 marine units makes it the biggest offshore marine and oil support services provider in the Middle East by fleet size. It has contracted to receive another six vessels and a barge by 2012.

Shareholders meeting on Sunday agreed to use earnings to fund the dividend, which will increase outstanding shares to 307 million from 256 million and raise capital to $123 million. They also approved a 16.5 cents per share cash dividend.

“Instead of distributing all profits in cash, we will invest some of the bonus shares to raise our capital to fund expansion projects,” Assistant Financial Manager Adel El-Zomor told Reuters.
The firm plans to build another three or four vessels and a barge for delivery in 2013-2014, the company said in February.

“Our expansion projects have to be covered to guarantee our leverage at any time,” Financial Manager Emad Fawzy told Reuters.

“We are building boats and the plan is to continue building until 2012.”