Gulf Finance House

Tunisia: realization of Tunis Financial Harbour starts

Governor of Ariana, Mehdi Zaoui announced the start of work on the construction of the Tunis Financial Harbour. Zaoui said they finished the dispute regarding the expropriation for public use under habitat. The Tunis Financial Harbour, considered as a mega project developed by the Gulf Finance House in the northern suburbs near Raoued, extends over 523 hectares with a total investment of USD 5 billion.

Tunisia, Bahrain agree to revival Tunis Financial Harbor

President Beji Caid Essebsi and the Bahrain Prime Minister agreed to restart the mega project Tunis Financial Harbor, said official spokesman for the Presidency of the Republic, Moez Sinaoui. This mega project is financed by the Gulf Finance House, an Islamic Investment Bank of Bahrain, with a budget of 7.5 billion dinars. It will set up the first financial center for offshore banking institutions in North Africa. The Financial Harbor will house a set of shopping centers and residential units and recreation spaces: marina, golf courses.

Bahrain's Islamic finesse

Bahrain was for decades regarded as the financial centre of the Middle East, but it was hard hit during the recession and is arguably still picking up the pieces.
The Gulf state expects to run a budget deficit of more than $3.8bn this year and has proposed a string of policy reforms, including axing millions of dollars of food, fuel and other subsidies, to help it rebalance the books.
Despite this, its leaders claim Bahrain has “passed the stress test” of the past years’ fiscal woes and is bouncing back as a financial hub.
The number of finance institutions in Bahrain has grown steadily over the years to around 400 (from 190 in 1991) and work has recommenced on the $1.3bn Bahrain Financial Harbour scheme, which houses the country’s stock exchange and high-profile tenants such as Gulf Finance House and BNP Paribas.

GFH becomes GFH Financial Group BSC

GFH has announced to its shareholders and the markets that, in line with its extraordinary general meeting’s approval obtained on April 12, it has completed the formalities with the relevant authorities for changing its commercial name. Accordingly, the name has officially been changed from Gulf Finance House to ‘GFH Financial Group BSC’ starting on July 30th. The Islamic investment bank is based in Bahrain and was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2007. The company also holds a 25 per cent stake in Leeds United, a Football League Championship club through its wholly owned subsidiary, the Dubai-based GFH Capital.

Gulf Finance House to sell unit via public offering, plans acquisition

Gulf Finance House (GFH) is planning to make an acquisition this year and sell a unit in an initial public offering. The expected moves are part of efforts to reshape GFH, which was hit hard by the 2008-2009 global financial crisis. Currently the Bahrain-based Islamic investment bank has four units: investment banking, commercial banking, real estate and industry. GFH’s first quarter net profit rose 140 per cent to US$6 million from $2.5m a year earlier. GFH, which is talking to one firm in Bahrain and two in Dubai, is banking on closing this year with at least one leveraged acquisition valued at about $200m. The firm is seeking to finance the acquisition through 30 to 40 per cent equity and the remainder in debt.

Bahrain's GFH wins investor nod for capital cut

Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House (GFH) has won approval from the shareholders for a reduction in the group’s issued and paid-up capital. GFH board chairman Dr Ahmed Al-Mutawa said the rate of reduction approved is six shares for each 10 shares held at a nominal value of $0.265 per share, thereby resulting in elimination of $897 million of accumulated losses. In addition to this, the investors also discussed the continuation of GFH’s shares listing in London and Kuwait Stock Exchange and authorised the board of directors to adopt the necessary resolutions in this respect. The firm reported a consolidated net profit of $17 million for the year 2014.

Bahrain's GFH says to review London, Kuwait listings

Bahrain's Gulf Finance House will study the continuation of its equity listings in London and Kuwait. The investment firm is listed in four places, a potentially costly arrangement: Dubai Financial Market, where its shares are often the market's most heavily traded, Bahrain, Kuwait, and London in the form of global depository receipts. Moreover, shareholders approved reducing the firm's capital to $598 million from $1.49 billion to eliminate accumulated losses, and the company will change its name to GFH Financial Group. GFH did not give details of what its review would involve or say when it might be completed.

GFH plans $230m sukuk issue in 2015 to fund acquisitions

Gulf Finance House (GFH), the Bahraini Islamic investment firm, plans to make a $230 million sukuk issue this year to help it fund acquisitions of two to three regional companies. The bank sold $170 million of convertible sukuk murabaha last year to raise money for the investments, Ahmed Khalil Al-Mutawa said. The paper was converted into equity in the same year. In addition to the funds raised through sukuk last year and this year, the rest of the money needed for the acquisitions is likely to come from bank borrowing. Al-Mutawa said that the companies targeted by GFH focused on asset and wealth management and were based in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Dubai. The deals, which involve taking controlling stakes, should be closed by the end of the second quarter, he said. He did not give further details.

GFH reports progress in legal proceedings

Islamic investment bank GFH has reported that Bahrain’s High Civil Court has dismissed the Labor Case (amounting to $13.8 million) filed by Esam Janahi against GFH. The case had been filed by Janahi against GFH in June 2014, following several claims raised by the bank against him. All other cases filed by GFH against Janahi are still in progress. GFH also reported that the Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution has awarded judgement in favour of GFH in a legal case amounting to $11.47 million (BHD 4.3 million) plus profits. The case was filed by GFH against Abu Dhabi Investment House and Qatar Entertainment City Company (QEC) pertaining to GFH’s investment in QEC.

Bahrain's GFH inks JV deal to kickstart $3bn Tunis project

Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House has signed a joint venture with France's Alliance International Holding which is likely to kick-start the Tunis Bay project. Tunis Bay is part of the overall $3 billion Tunis Financial Harbour project. Alliance International Holding is a French consortium which specialises in the building of golf course projects and new community developments. It said it has signed a deal with the GFH-owned Tunis Bay Project Company which will see more than 800,000 sq m of land developed into a golf course with surrounding villas and apartments. Construction work by the joint venture will start next year as part of the first phase of the Tunis Bay development.

Bahraini bank GFH targets majority Khaleeji Commercial Bank stake - CNBC

Bahrain's Gulf Finance House (GFH) plans to up its stake in Khaleeji Commercial Bank (KCB) to gain majority ownership, its chairman Ahmed al-Mutawa said. The investment firm will increase its stake in KCB to between 52 percent and 54 percent once it has received regulatory approval from the Bahraini authorities. GFH currently owns 47 percent of KCB. Increasing its stake to the range indicated by Mutawa would cost GFH between 2.65 million dinars and 3.72 million dinars ($7.03 million-$9.87 million). KCB and unlisted Bahraini lender Bank Al Khair dropped merger plans in March after they failed to agree terms for the tie-up.

Bahrain’s GFH Completes Capital Reduction Plan, Cuts Losses

Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House has completed a capital reduction plan, a move that helps the Islamic investment firm to cut accumulated losses. It had received approval from the Bahraini authorities for the step, which reduces the nominal value of its shares by 13.8 per cent to $0.265 per share from $0.3075. As a result, paid-up capital had been reduced to $837.9 million from $972.3 million. Accumulated losses on GFH’s balance sheet had been reduced by $134.4 million under the measure. The reduction doesn’t involve any cash transfer and doesn’t impact on shareholder positions as the bank’s net equity remains unchanged.

IIRA Assigns "BB" Fiduciary Ratings to Gulf Finance House

The Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA) has assigned international scale credit ratings to Gulf Finance House (GFH) at 'BB' (Double B) in the medium to long-term and at 'B' (Single B) in the short-term. On the national scale, ratings have been assessed at BB+/B (Double B Plus / Single B). The rating outlook for the Bank has been assessed as 'Positive'. IIRA has assessed the rating outlook for the institution as 'Positive' that hinges on developing a steady stream of core revenues and sustaining improvements to capital structure. The fiduciary score has been assessed in the range of '61-65'. Certain weaknesses of the bank's governance framework have been identified that require to be addressed.

GFH acquires Texas properties worth $75m

Gulf Finance House has announced the acquisition of two multi-family residential properties in Houston, Texas, as part of the Diversified US Residential Portfolio, which the bank has recently agreed to acquire. The properties — located in Houston, and Atlanta — have an overall occupancy of 94 per cent, and nearly 1,300 apartments. They have been selected due to their proximity to the large infrastructure assets in the cities, and are expected to benefit from the economic recovery in the US. The total size of the assets is $75 million (Dh275.4 million).

Capital Intelligence Raises the Ratings of Gulf Finance House B.S.C.

Capital Intelligence (CI), has raised Gulf Finance House's (GFH) Long-Term Rating to 'BB' from 'BB-' and affirmed the Short-Term Rating at 'B'. The Outlook for GFH's ratings reverts to 'Stable' from 'Positive' following the rating action. The ratings reflect the recent successful refinancing and resultant extended debt repayment period. Also supporting the ratings is the significant reduction in leverage in recent years and the moderately improved liquidity position. The factors constraining GFH's ratings are the forced debt restructuring a few years ago, an encumbered asset base, and the small balance sheet coupled with single name and sector concentrations. Also constraining the ratings is the still challenging investment environment.

Bahrain's Gulf Finance House gets $105 mln facility from Kuwait Finance

Bahrain's Gulf Finance House (GFH) said on Wednesday that it had signed to obtain a $105 million, five-year Islamic credit facility from Kuwait Finance House, which would help GFH redeem two syndicated debt facilities and allow the release of some major GFH assets. GFH, which suffered heavily in the wake of the global financial crisis and required multiple debt restructurings, said Kuwait Finance House would have an option to convert its outstanding debt into GFH shares. It did not elaborate on the terms of any equity conversion. The Bahraini firm noted that it had paid down some $30 million of current outstanding debt facilities to date in 2014, representing payment of more than 15 percent of its total liabilities.

GFH reports $88.2m revenues and $10.6m net profits for H1 of year 2014

Bahrain based Gulf Finance House (GFH) announced its financial results for the first half of 2014 ended June 30, 2014. GFH reported a net profit of $10.6m for the period compared with $4.2m for the prior year period. The Bank’s consolidated profits rose by 152% in current period compared to the prior year period although an impairment of $10m was conservatively taken. Net profit for the second quarter of 2014 was $9.5m. Total income for the first half of 2014 was $88.2m compared with $24.5m for the same period of the year 2013. Operating expenses for the period were $67.6m. GFH made debt repayments of approximately $7m during the period, representing a reduction of approximately 3.5% of the Bank’s total financing liabilities.

GFH to list $200m sukuk on Nasdaq Dubai

Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House plans to list its upcoming $200 million (Dh734 million) sukuk on Nasdaq Dubai. The company said in a statement to Dubai Financial Market that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Dubai bourse to list the Islamic bond. GFH said it plans to use the proceeds from the sukuk to repay current outstanding sukuk of $84 million and undertake business acquisitions for financial consolidation and project development in Bahrain and Dubai. The $200 million sukuk will take place in the coming months and a date will be announced later after the approval by the regulatory authorities.

GFH repays $25 million

Bahrain-based Islamic investment bank, Gulf Finance House (GFH), has repaid $25 million to debt holders marking total debt principal payments of $33m so far this year. In a statement to the Bahrain Bourse, the bank said this represents more than 15pc of its total outstanding facilities. The repayments highlight its ongoing commitment to meeting obligations to debt holders in line with the restructuring terms concluded in 2012 and the subsequent business plan, GFH said. The bank's outstanding facilities today stand at $169m, representing a leverage ratio of close to 0.28.

Bahrain's GFH buys Dubailand plot for mixed-use project

Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House (GFH) has signed a land sale agreement to establish a new mixed-use residential development in Dubailand. The agreement with Dubai Properties Group (DPG) involves the purchase of a total area of approximately 1,200,000 square feet of land. The project aims to build residential, commercial and retail space and facilities within Dubailand. The new development includes both villas and apartments in the residential part of the project and is expected to launch later this year. The project is scheduled to be completed within the next five years.

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