Qatar First Investment Bank Annual General Meeting Approves 2009 Financial Results

Chairman Abdulla bin Fahad Bin Ghorab Al Marri presents an overview of the Bank’s activities in 2009 and future plans.

Chairman Abdulla bin Fahad Bin Ghorab Al Marri presents an overview of the Bank’s activities in 2009 and future plans.

Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) today announced that its Annual General Meeting has approved the Bank’s Audited Financial Results for the year ended 31 December 2009.

“We are proud to report on our successful first year of operation,” said Chairman Abdulla bin Fahad Bin Gohrab Al Marri during his opening remarks. “Setting up a new, non-affiliated investment bank at a time when financial markets were under a great deal of stress was never going to be easy.  The hard work and dedication of the people in the bank has shown that a Qatari Islamic investment bank can play an important role in the region and wider international markets.”

Chairman Al Marri presented an overview of the Bank’s activities and financial results in its inaugural year 2009, along with the future plans for the Bank.  In its first year of operation, QFIB succeeded in achieving a Net Income of U.S. $1.6million, in spite of the economic and financial turmoil that affected many countries around the world, reaffirming its leading position domestically and regionally.

“We are pleased with the results we have achieved during our first year considering that we began our operations amidst the unusual circumstances surrounding the global financial meltdown, in addition to all the costs incurred at the set up phase and launching a new brand in the market,” explained the Chairman.

“This is a difficult time for investors and 2010 for Qatar First Investment Bank will be characterized by the need to have well-thought out and well executed transactions,” emphasized the Chairman.

“There is still a fear that the markets might face some unexpected turbulences, therefore, it is essential to be cautious and wait until the market conditions improve before committing to long term investments.”

“We are very pleased with the response we have received from informed investors across the GCC, who are delighted to have access to an independent, experienced and expert Shari’ah bank.  Thus despite the market conditions we are very confident that 2010 will be another good year for QFIB,” concluded the Chairman.

At the General Meeting, the reappointments of board members appointed since the Bank’s incorporation were approved.  These included; Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed Al-Jomaih, H.E. Mr. Ahmed Abdulla Al Marri; Mr. Anwar Jawad A. Bukhamseen; Mr. Khaled Abdulla Khouri, and Dr. Fahad Abdulla Al Damer.

The Shari’ah Supervisory Board report for the year ended 31 December 2009 was approved and the current Shari’ah Supervisory Board consisting of Shaikh Dr. Ali Al Quradaghi, Chairman; Shaikh Dr. Shafi Al-Hajri, Member, and Shaikh Yahia Al-Nuaimi, Member, reconfirmed.

The General Assembly also approved the re-appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers as external auditors for the year 2010.

A Special Annual Meeting followed the General Meeting wherein the revised Articles of Association were approved.

Highlights: 2009 in Brief

  • QFIB reported a Gross Income of U.S. $85.6 million.
  • QFIB invested a Total Capital of U.S. $186 million in 2009
  • QFIB invested in the energy sector through the acquisition of 40.83% stake in Qatar Engineering and Construction Company (Qcon), whose principal activities are engineering, construction and maintenance contracting for the oil, gas and petrochemicals industries.
  • QFIB also invested in the real estate sector with their purchase of Al Jazeera building in the Al Sadd area of Doha. QFIB also acquired a 12% stake in Nobles properties, a leading real estate development company based in Dubai.
  • QFIB invested in the industrial sector through acquiring a 71.3% ownership stake in Emirates National Plastic Industries Company (ENPI), a leading manufacturer of plastic packing solutions based in the UAE.
  • QFIB invested in the financial sector through the acquisition of 3.5% stake in Al Jazeera Finance (AJF), a Shari’ah compliant consumer finance company

Qatar First Investment Bank CEO to attend Arab Investment Summit in Abu Dhabi, UAE

QFIB today announced that Chief Executive Officer, Mike de Graffenried would attend the 2010 Arab Investment Summit being held May 3-4

Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) today announced that Chief Executive Officer, Mike de Graffenried would attend the 2010 Arab Investment Summit being held May 3-4 at the Park Rotana Hotel in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and deliver a keynote address examining the economic new realities for banking, with a focus on Islamic banking.

“I am delighted to be speaking at this regional forum, devoted to strengthening relationships between countries in order to promote new investments,” said QFIB CEO Mike de Graffenried.

Mr. de Graffenried will deliver a keynote address along with senior executives from Gulf Merchant Bank, Emirates Capital and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade, that will examine trends in international banking and Shar’iah compliant investment banking in the GCC.

“A tipping point has been reached in the finance across the GCC markets which could lead to accelerated growth. All the main economies in the GCC have a positive outlook and it is important that Islamic Finance links into this growth” Mr. de Graffenried observed.

“QFIB sees three risks to this happening. Firstly, many Islamic banks have been hit by the lack of liquidity with the less conservative having large real estate and PE exposures and have had to adapt their business focus to emphasize liquidity. Secondly, the Shari’ah compliant basis of some Sukuks is being questioned as there is no direct link to assets and therefore they are being seen as straight debt issuance and finally banks now need to replenish capital to substantially higher levels than before, and this needs to be ‘tangible money’ not debt disguised as equity.”

“The good news is that the private wealth in the GCC remains strong, and the intergenerational transfer of wealth will spur the need for corporate advisory work.”

“Much family wealth is tied up in the form of illiquid business assets, the passage of these assets from generation to generation would be facilitated and familial disputes reduced through the incorporation and provision of liquidity of family shareholdings. This would release investment capital and may well be vital for the continued development and strengthening of Islamic Finance in the region”: concluded Mr. de Graffenried.

I-Group’s Arab Investment Summit 2010 was created to provide a platform for investors, financiers and government officials to expand Arab trade and investment as well as to build new business partnerships. This year’s summit will examine subjects including financing options available for investors, challenges faced by regional and foreign investors, and the expansion of the capital markets in order to facilitate smooth flow of money.