GFH reveals boost in first-half profits

Jassim Alseddiqi and Hisham Alrayes.
Updated 14 August 2018
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GFH reveals boost in first-half profits

GFH Financial Group has announced that net profit attributable to shareholders rose to $72.5 million in the first six months of 2018, a 16.7 percent increase from the same period a year earlier. The group also reported a consolidated net profit of $73.4 million in the first half of the year, a rise of 12.1 percent.

Net profit attributable to shareholders for the second quarter increased by 19.2 percent to $36 million. Consolidated net profit during the quarter rose to $36.5 million, an increase of 14.1 percent.

Earnings per share for first half of the year was 2.02 cents, compared with 2.51 cents in the first six months of 2017. Earnings per share for the second quarter was 1 cent, compared with 1.22 cents in the same period of 2017.

Total consolidated revenues in the first half, grew by 12.5 percent to $124.2 million, primarily from revenues generated by its investment-banking business. This included income generated from investment placements for private equity and real-estate transactions. Consolidated revenues for the second quarter stood at $63.7 million, an increase of 4.8 percent.

Profit before impairment allowance for the first half of the year was $79.1 million, an increase of 34.1 percent. Consolidated operating profit for the second quarter increased by 23.5 percent to $40.5 million. Total operating expenses for the first half fell to $45.1 million from $51.4 million. Operating expenses for the second quarter dropped to $23.2 million from $28 million a year earlier.

Equity attributable to shareholders was $1.11 billion for the first half, compared with $1.14 billion a year ago. The total assets of the group increased by 10.3 percent to $4.3 billion.

“We are pleased with the continued growth in profitably for the first half of 2018,” said GFH Chairman Jassim Alseddiqi. “Enhanced results and revenue generation for the period were supported by increased contributions from the group’s investment-banking business, where it continues to demonstrate a strong ability to identify and bring to the market unique investment opportunities.”

Hisham Alrayes, the group’s CEO, added “In line with the Group’s strategy, the ongoing growth in our investment-banking business continues to drive enhanced results and profitably. In particular, during the period, improvements in income generation came from a number of strategic deals, including our landmark investment in the UAE-based Entertainer, and a notable trophy real-estate asset in Chicago.”


Emirates NBD opens branch in Alkhobar

Updated 20 September 2018
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Emirates NBD opens branch in Alkhobar

Emirates NBD, a banking group in the Middle East, has expanded its presence in the Kingdom with the opening of its first branch in Alkhobar in the Eastern Province. Emirates NBD now covers three key regions in Saudi Arabia with a presence in Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar. 

As Saudi Arabia progresses plans for economic reform, in line with its Vision 2030, Emirates NBD’s presence builds on the growing economic and trade ties between Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Following the establishment of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council, the UAE and Saudi Arabia recently announced The Strategy of Resolve, a joint vision for economic development through 44 joint strategic projects within a five-year time frame. 

UAE-based Emirates NBD is the first non-Saudi bank with a significant branch network across the Kingdom. The bank offers retail, private, business and wholesale banking across its network of three full-fledged branches in the Kingdom, in addition to corporate finance advisory, project and syndicated finance through Emirates NBD Capital KSA, the bank’s investment banking arm.

Emirates NBD also operates in Egypt, India, Singapore, and the UK with representative offices in China and Indonesia. 

“Our presence in Saudi is integral to Emirates NBD’s growth strategy as we continue to explore opportunities in the GCC region’s largest and most dynamic economy,” said Hesham Abdulla Al-Qassim, vice chairman and managing director of Emirates NBD. 

“Saudi Arabia is in the midst of a landmark economic transformation and we look forward to continuing to support Saudi individuals and businesses looking for a trusted banking partner.” 

Emirates NBD recently renewed its partnership with the Kingdom’s Kafalah Program, which aims to promote financing to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) within the country.

Loai Abduljawad, CEO of Emirates NBD KSA, said: “Emirates NBD’s expanded network strengthens our offering to individuals and corporates in Saudi Arabia looking to invest and trade across the MENA region and beyond. Our superior value proposition, built on the bank’s unique ‘high tech + high touch’ philosophy of offering customers a modern banking experience complemented by personalized advisory services, will enable us to strengthen customer acquisition in the Kingdom as we continue to support the country’s long-term growth and development goals, as outlined in Saudi Vision 2030.” 

Emirates NBD is a leading banking group in the region. As of June 30, 2018, its total assets were 477.5 billion dirhams, ($130 billion). The group has a significant retail banking franchise in the UAE and is a key participant in the global digital banking industry, with over 90 percent of all financial transactions and requests conducted outside of its branches. The bank was declared the “Most Innovative Financial Services Organization of the Year” at the 2017 BAI Global Innovation Awards.