Qatar First Bank: The new name of Qatar First Investment Bank

Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) revealed today that it has changed its name to Qatar First Bank (QFB).

After four successful years since establishment  Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB), Qatar’s first independent Shari’ah compliant bank regulated by QFC Regulatory Authority, revealed today that it has changed its name to  Qatar First Bank (QFB).

Following an upgrade to a Category 5 license back in 2010, which would allow the bank to broaden its product offering, the management took the decision to change the Bank’s name to better reflect the strategic evolution of its business model.

QFB’s new identity was revealed at a dinner reception held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Doha.  The event was attended by government officials, CEOs of leading Qatari Institutions and family businesses, shareholders, business leaders and key media.   The guest of honor and main speaker was HE Mr. Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties, the Dubai-based global property developer.

Launched in 2009 with a mission to enrich the business community in the GCC by providing a unique perspective to Shari’ah compliant investment banking,, QFIB has since then succeeded in affirming its leadership status in the investment banking industry.  To date, the Bank invested QAR 1.5 billion in 16 transactions spanning five different sectors, seven geographies and successfully exited four investments.  Building on its four years of success as a leading shari’ah compliant investment bank, QFB will now evolve its business model to offer a comprehensive range of financial products and services, in addition to its existing Principal Investments, Corporate Finance and Asset Management offerings.

Abdulla bin Fahad bin Ghorab Al Marri, Chairman, QFB commented, “The last four years have been very challenging as the world was going through what economists described to be the worst financial crisis since the Wall Street crash.  Yet in spite of this tough global economic condition, we managed to source, develop and exit deals in strategic sectors generating sound returns for our shareholders.  Today marks an important milestone as we celebrate four years of success.  The change in our name reflects our growth strategy as we move from pure investment bank to a financial institution that offers  a full suite of shari’ah compliant financial products and services.    QFB is well positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for shari’ah compliant banking and we look forward to the future with great optimism.”

In his keynote address, HE Alabbar said: “The success achieved by QFB in a short span of time, despite the challenging environment globally for financial institutions, underlines the trust of its stakeholders in its values and integrity. I congratulate His Excellency Al Marri, the Board of Directors and the management team for their exemplary work. They are setting the benchmark for performance and purpose for the financial community in the region. QFB has an excellent growth opportunity in today’s new world order. However, through this onward journey, is it important to note that performance is not solely about profits but also about creating stakeholder value. As the organisation starts a new chapter today, I wish the bank and its board members the very best in creating valuable and long-term stakeholder relationships.”

QFIB Brings “Wasita” brand to Qatar

In line with its commitment to sector diversification , QFIB announced the launch of “Wasita” in Qatar.

In line with its commitment to sector diversification , Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) , the first independent Sharia’h compliant investment bank authorized by the QFC Regulatory Authority (QFCRA), announced the  launch of “Wasita” in Qatar.

Following the acquisition of 85% stake in the Abu Dhabi based support services management firm, Al Wasita Emirates for Services & Catering, QFIB is bringing the Wasita brand to Qatar. The brand will operate legally under the umbrella of Isnad for Catering & services which is 75% owned by QFIB, 15% is owned by Yaghnam International (management and founders of the Wasita brand) and the remaining 10% owned by Qatar based Al Khor & Dakira Schemes & Services Company (AKD). Wasita Qatar will offer a suite of services including quality catering, facilities management, supply & logistics, cleaning & laundry, as well as & property services.

Abdulla bin Fahad bin Ghorab Al Marri, Chairman, QFIB, commented, “The launch of Wasita Qatar comes as a first step in our strategic plan to develop Wasita regional foot print. Qatar’s booming economy and the projects planned as the country gears up to host the 2022 FiFA World Cup will no doubt increase demand for world class total support services companies. ”

Wasita Qatar will follow the same business model as Wasita Emirates. It will provide a range of support services, and residential villages for labor, staff, and workforces on a BOO (Build, Operate, Own), BOT (Build, Operate, Transfer) basis to a range of sectors including oil and gas, military, healthcare, education, and construction. Wasita Qatar will be led by Raed Yaghnam, Group CEO.

Emad Mansour, CEO of QFIB added, “Bringing the Wasita brand to Qatar is a testament of our ability to acquire and take companies cross borders. Our strategy is to develop Wasita into a regional player as the demand for support services continues to grow across the GCC.”

Raed commented, “The launch of the Wasita brand in Qatar is the first step of our regional expansion. We are confident that with QFIB’s solid experience and extensive network of relationships and Al Khor and Dakira’s local input, coupled with Wasita’s sector expertise, we will be able to capture a large market share in Qatar. We are looking forward to capitalize on the Wasita brand for what it represents as being a leading and trusted total support services provider.”

According to Aspen Capital’s report on the GCC Hospitality Industry (October 2012), Qatar’s hospitality market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.6 per cent.

QFIB Meets Key Shareholders in Saudi Arabia

Chaired by Chairman Abdulla Fahad Ghorab Al Marri, Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) held its board meeting in Dammam

Chaired by Chairman Abdulla Fahad Ghorab Al Marri, Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB), Qatar’s first independent Shari’ah compliant bank regulated by Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority, held its board meeting in Dammam, the largest city in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) yesterday. Since its launch in 2009, QFIB has scheduled board meetings every year in a different GCC country with the aim of reaching out to its diversified base of shareholders.

Dammam is the most oil rich region in the world, and in close proximity to Dhahran that houses Saudi Aramco, one of the biggest oil companies in the world.  Taking this opportunity QFIB Board and Senior Management visited the company to get a deeper insight into the company’s operations specifically in the production and exploration fields.  QFIB takes a special interest in the oil and gas sector as it is the backbone of the GCC economies.  To date, QFIB has invested over QAR 400m in this vibrant sector.

On the sidelines of the board meeting, QFIB Vice Chairman Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed Al Abdul Aziz Al Jomaih, a leading Saudi Businessman hosted a dinner.   Government officials, owners of family businesses and CEO’s of leading institutions in Saudi, attended the dinner.

QFIB CEO Emad Mansour delivered a presentation about the Bank, providing an overview of the Bank’s main lines of business, sector and geographic focus, current portfolio of investments and future growth plans.

Commenting on the Saudi trip, QFIB Chairman Abdulla Ghorab Al Marri said, “Since inception, our strategy was to hold an annual board meeting in each of the GCC countries that are represented on our Board.  As the largest GCC country, and one of the world’s biggest oil producing countries, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an important market for us.  We thank Al Jomaih for hosting the dinner.  Such a gathering provides a good platform to network and generate awareness about QFIB as well explore investment opportunities with leading businessmen. It is also a chance to reach out to our Saudi shareholders and provide an update about the Bank’s achievements.

Vice Chairman of QFIB, Al Jomaih added, “Our role as board members is to support the management in promoting the Bank’s expertise.  Such events provide a great networking platform for our shareholders to gain a better understanding of the Bank’s activities and gain insight into potential investment prospects.  The Saudi market has a very positive outlook, buoyed by optimistic projections for 2013. We hope this gathering was successful in bringing the Bank closer to potential investors.

According to Zawya, analysts expect the Saudi economy to grow between 4% – 4.4% in 2013 on the back of high oil prices and government spending.  The Saudi government has set a record state budget values at US$ 218.7 billion to stimulate the non-hydrocarbon sector including construction, healthcare, education and financial services.

According to 2011 figures, Saudi Arabia is the world’s top oil producing country with a production of 11,150,000 barrels/day contributing around 12.9% of the world’s total oil production.  It also has 20% of the world’s oil reserves standing at 265 billion barrels. This puts Saudi Arabia at top of the world’s oil exporting countries and the ability to play an important role in responding to market changes.