Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB), Qatar’s independent investment bank regulated by Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority, held its Annual General Meeting(AGM) followed by an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on 3rd April, 2012.
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) approved the Bank’s audited financial results for 2011, QFIB’s third full year of operation, marking a number of significant milestones across all of QFIB’s business units. The Extraordinary General Meeting addressed several issues including QFIB’s proposed listing on Qatar’s Stock Exchange by the end of 2012.
QFIB’s Chairman, Abdulla Bin Fahad Bin Ghorab Al Marri presented an overview of the Bank’s activities and the Bank’s financial statement for the year ended December 2011, stating: “2011 was a year full of challenges for investment banking in the region. The still-daunting European sovereign debt crisis and closer home, the Arab Spring certainly impacted the global and regional economies. Fortunately for us, the GCC economies were slightly shielded from this market instability mainly due to strong oil prices and robust government spending.”
He added: “Navigating the prevailing market conditions, we continued to maintain a strategic and prudent approach to principal investment acquisitions and when managing liquidity. The result is a sound balance sheet coupled with strong performance and dividend distribution. Furthermore, winning the accolade of “Best Investment Bank in the GCC” in the Islamic Business and Finance Category from CPI financial is a clear testament that the bank is on the right path to becoming a regional investment player”.
QFIB reported total income of $233.7 million (QR850.6 million) and a net income of US$ 25.8 (QR 94 million), representing a 20% increase over 2010. Total capital invested to date reached $333 million (QR 1.212 billion).
For the second consecutive year, the AGM ratified the distribution of a cash dividend of 6% of paid share capital to QFIB shareholders.
The Shari’ah Supervisory Board Report and the Auditor’s Report for the year ended 31st December, 2011
were also presented. The AGM also marked the election of the Board of Directors for another period of three years and the re-election of the Bank’s auditors for a period of twelve months.
The Extraordinary General Meeting, approved filing of an application with the Qatar Financial Markets Authority to list QFIB shares on the Qatar Exchange in accordance with the laws of Qatar. This strategic move will provide the existing shareholders with the ability trade their shares on the Qatar Exchange and will provide QFIB with access to capital for future acquisitions and growth plans.
In order to facilitate the listing process the EGM approved to change the currency denomination of the Bank from US Dollar to Qatari Riyals. This move will align the bank with its Qatari listed counterparts in terms of financial reporting and performance evaluation. Furthermore, the EGM approved to re-adjust the authorized capital of the bank from US$ 1bn (QAR 3.65bn) to US$ 550m (QAR 2bn) in a step to waive the remaining non paid portion of the authorized capital.
The EGM also approved to amend the Bank’s name to become “Qatar First Bank”. This initiative will better reflect the future plans of the Bank, where it hopes to build upon its strong foundation and successful track record to become a full-fledged financial institution offering a suite of services ranging from commercial banking and investment banking to asset management.
Milestones for 2011
- To reflect QFIB’s commitment to geographic diversification, the bank made three strategic investments in key sectors; financial services, oil & gas and food & beverage industry in 2011.
- In May 2011, to reflect geographical diversification the Bank acquired a 10.3 percent shareholding in Watania Takaful, an innovative, newly established Islamic insurance company based in Abu Dhabi. In June 2011, the Bank acquired a US$ 16 million shareholding in Kuwait Energy Company (KEC). KEC is a leading regional independent oil and gas exploration and production company.
- To reflect sectorial diversification into the food and beverage (F&B) sector QFIB acquired a 15% stake in Al Rifai International Holding, the Lebanese manufacturer and retailer of nuts, kernels and complimentary snacks, with operations in the Middle East and Europe.
- Reaffirming its stature as a growing Shari’ah compliant investment bank, the Bank was appointed as a co-lead manager for the issuance of the Sharjah Islamic Bank sukuk. The transaction was well received resulting in a nine-fold oversubscription.
- Tebyan Asset Management, the joint venture asset management arm of QFIB, structured the Tebyan CHIME Opportunities Fund, the first of its kind Shari’ah compliant product to offer investors a gateway into the New Silk Route, the new economic axis of the Arab-Indo-China regions.
- The bank continued to develop its IT infrastructure to support the growing needs of the business. QFIB is the first bank to employ the cloud computing technology which resulted in a reduction of a substantial amount of capital expenditure and running maintenance cost. This led QFIB to win the accolade of the “Best Financial Service Industry Deployment of the Year” by Computer News Middle East.
- QFIB won the accolade of “Best Investment Bank in the GCC 2011” in the Islamic Business & Finance category from CPI Financial, a leading publishing house based in the UAE.