Gulf Finance House has posted record profits of US$ 302 million for the first nine months of the year compared to US$ 231 million profits recorded during the same period in 2007.
These results continue the overall trend of strong earnings growth when compared to the same period in 2007 and demonstrate the tremendous durability of GFH’s business model despite the collapse in global financial markets.
Third quarter profits of US$ 82 million have been driven largely by the continued success of the Energy City Libya (ECL) business cluster – GFH’s latest economic infrastructure project. Further income was derived from GFH’s share of the net income of Khaleeji Commercial Bank, Qinvest and Bahrain Financial Harbour Investment Company.
“GFH’s strategy of producing a diverse, sustainable revenue stream is now paying off – a fact clearly demonstrated via a series of 2008 venture capital projects that include First Energy Bank and Cemena. Of course these initiatives build on GFH’s already strong and growing series of economic infrastructure projects”, said GFH Chairman Esam Janahi.
“Certainly, western equity markets have endured serious volatility and the impact of sub-prime asset classes on major western financial institutions is well documented. This phenomenon is however, of little relevance to GFH. Our strict adherence to Sharia’s compliant Islamic banking precludes both our involvement and any financial exposure. This reason, alongside strong regulation and better capitalization mean that GCC banks will emerge from this crisis in better shape than many of their western competitors.”
“At GFH, we have an investor base that remains immensely supportive and their faith in GFH’s ability to create value is undiminished. Given the strength of our capital base and a full pipeline of forthcoming projects ready and waiting, we enter the fourth quarter confident in the knowledge that it’ll be stronger than any that have gone before. “
Mehran Jamsheer, GFH’s Deputy CEO added, “We are naturally extremely pleased by the progress we’ve made in the third quarter of the year and the growth we’ve achieved throughout 2008, given the difficulty in world markets. With the vast majority of our concepts taking shape in MENA and Asia, the continued pace and anticipated growth potential of these economies allows us to be extremely optimistic about the months and years ahead.
“In step with these developments we continue to evolve our structures and processes to meet the future challenges of a growing business, while maintaining the flexibility we need to create value from the opportunities and gaps we see in the marketplace.”
“The bank maintains strong liquidity holding US$ 1 billion of equity and US$ 1.4 billion in cash. It is also worth noting that just over a week ago, GFH was among the six most heavily traded stocks on the Kuwait Stock Exchange. Performance of this kind was a contributing factor in GFH’s successful GDR listing on the London Stock Exchange in 2007.”
“The ongoing financial crisis has been a good reminder of the traditional virtues of sound banking. While the global economy is expected to experience a marked slowdown, the outlook for MENA will continue to be bright.”
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