GFH Q1 profit up 18.5% on higher investment banking revenue

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Bahrain-based GFH Financial Group reported an 18.5% increase in net profit in the first quarter thanks to the strong performance of its investment banking business.

Net profit attributable to bank shareholders for the first three months ended March reached $19.11 million, the company said in a press release on Thursday at the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares are traded.

The growth reflects “several key agreements within the group’s investment banking business”, the company said.

Total revenue for the first quarter edged up 0.47% to $90.81 million.

Earnings per share for the period were $0.54 compared to $0.52 for the first quarter of 2021.

“In the first quarter of 2022, we continued to grow in line with the business plan, continuing to execute on our strong portfolio of opportunities,” said Hisham Alrayes, Managing Director of GFH.

“Several key transactions had a positive impact on our revenues during the quarter, including the placement of our US medical practice and logistics portfolios. The company’s growth was enhanced by the diversification of its business activities, supported by the group’s commercial bank alongside the asset management activities.

GFH has an investment portfolio that spans the Middle East, US, UK and Asia across a number of sectors including healthcare, education and logistics. Last year, it closed more than $1 billion in new investments in the region in these segments.

Listed on the Bahrain Stock Exchange, DFM and Boursa Kuwait, GFH received approval from its shareholders to also list its shares on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) in April.

The company also announced plans to list its shares on the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange in May. The move should further improve the liquidity of GFH’s shares and allow the group to access a broader base of retail and institutional investors on the ADX, the company said.

GFH this year created a new subsidiary, Infracorp, splitting its infrastructure and real estate assets to focus more on financial assets. Infracorp will manage a portfolio of assets worth approximately $3 billion, which includes lands in the Gulf, North Africa and South Asia.

“Real estate and infrastructure investments were separated from the group’s consolidated accounts after the sale of 60% of Infracorp’s shares, which reflected positively,” Mr Alrayes said.

“In terms of capital efficiency and expected group profitability, we look forward to continuing this growth over the course of the year and meeting shareholder expectations, especially with the upcoming instrument on the Stock Exchange. ‘Abu Dhabi.’

GFH’s total assets at the end of March stood at $8.11 billion, largely unchanged from $8.08 billion at the end of December.

Total expenses for the first three months of the year increased slightly by 0.57% to $71.46 million.

The company plans to continue to focus on Islamic finance and asset management, and invest in key GCC and US markets, he said.

The investment bank this month acquired a majority stake in Atlanta-based SQ Asset Management, which focuses on student housing.

Under the agreement, the GFH will add 180 real estate professionals to its employee base, “bringing significant investment and asset management experience in U.S. real estate,” it said. he declares.

Updated: May 12, 2022, 11:08 a.m.

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