QFB Board Meeting in Dubai to discuss future strategy

Chaired by Chairman Abdulla Fahad Ghorab Al Marri, QFB held its last board meeting for 2013 in Dubai

Chaired by Chairman Abdulla Fahad Ghorab Al Marri, Qatar First Bank (QFB), Qatar’s first independent Shari’ah compliant bank regulated by Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority, held its last board meeting for 2013 in Dubai, the second largest emirate in the UAE.  Since its launch in 2009, QFB has scheduled board meetings every year in a different GCC country with the aim of reaching out to its diversified base of shareholders.

7% of QFB’s shareholder base is situated in the UAE and the UAE also houses four of QFB’s major investments in diverse sectors including healthcare, catering services, financial services, real estate and industrials.  Last month QFB sponsored the Global Islamic Economy Summit held in Dubai to promote the emirate as the world capital of Islamic finance.  Dubai, having recently won the bid to host Expo 2020, is a market that offers ample opportunities for investment.

The Board meeting included presentations by two leading global management consulting firms to advise on the development of the Bank’s business strategy as it moves to include commercial banking activities to its existing lines of business.  The presentations examined market trends and best practices to enable QFB to capitalize on available opportunities across business lines.

Alongside the board meeting, Mr. Robert Booth, CEO of Dubai-based Emaar Properties, the leading international residential and commercial property developer, gave QFB’s Board Members and Senior Management an overview of the latest projects undertaken by the company and explored opportunities of how the two parties can collaborate in the future.

QFB’s Portfolio Company Al Rifai sells its Nutisal Brand to a Swedish Conglomerate

QFB announced that its portfolio company Al Rifai International Holding (Al Rifai) has signed an agreement to sell its Al Rifai Nutisal AB (Nutisal) operations in Sweden

Qatar First Bank (QFB), Qatar’s first independent Shari’ah compliant bank regulated by Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority, announced that its portfolio company Al Rifai International Holding (Al Rifai), the leading Lebanese manufacturer and retailer of nuts, kernels and confectionary, has signed an agreement to sell its Al Rifai Nutisal AB (Nutisal) operations in Sweden to Cloetta, a leading confectionary company in the Nordic region, the Netherlands and Italy dating back to 1862.

Al Rifai International Holding which is 35% owned by QFB, agreed to sell the Nutisal operations for an upfront payment and a deferred payment, based on 2016 results. Alrifai Nutisal AB produces and sells dry roasted nuts under the brand Nutisal, primarily in the branded bags segment using unique knowledge and technology. It was established in 2007 in Sweden and has around 60 employees.  Nutisal has annual sales of about SEK 200m. Today, Sweden accounts for 50% of the sales, and the rest is sold in Denmark, Norway, Germany, UK and the Benelux countries.  Nutisal holds the number two position in the branded nuts market in Sweden and the number three position in the total nuts market. Nutisal products are distributed through its own sales force in Sweden and through distributors in the other markets.

“We are pleased with the exit of Nutisal and are confident that we have placed the business and the brand in safe hands.  We are positive that Cloetta will endorse the Nutisal brand and ensure its continued growth in Sweden and beyond, “commented Mohamed Rifai, CEO of Al Rifai International Holding Ltd.

Ahmad Meshari QFB Acting CEO commented, “We congratulate Al Rifai on this exit.  We are confident that Al Rifai will continue to diversify its product range and venture into new markets creating value to its shareholders”

QFB had acquired 15% of Al Rifai International in December 2011, and then due to the company’s strong performance and future growth prospects QFB increased its share to 35% in September 2012.  Since then QFB has been a key driver of Al Rifai’s growth, streamlining operations and increasing the company’s market share in the region. In 2013 Al Rifai with the support of QFB has embarked on major strategic initiatives which include improving its operational efficiency, expanding its geographical reach and strengthening its brand.

QFB sponsors Euromoney Qatar Conference for second year running

For the second consecutive year, َQFB has announced its associate sponsorship of the Euromoney Qatar Conference 2013

For the second consecutive year, Qatar First Bank, the first independent Shari’ah compliant bank authorized by the QFC Regulatory Authority (QFCRA), has announced its associate sponsorship of the Euromoney Qatar Conference 2013 , that will be held in Doha at the Ritz-Carlton on 10-11 December 2013, under the theme ‘Global Finance: Re-Engineered’.

Addressing the growing role of conventional and Islamic finance, capital and developing debt markets and the global economic outlook, the conference will be held under the patronage of H.E. Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Prime Minister, State of Qatar and co-sponsored by the Qatar Central Bank.  Building on its last year’s success, the conference will showcase the successful development of Qatar’s regulatory framework and financial sector, which in return supports the broader economic goals of the country.

Ahmed Meshari, Acting CEO, QFB commented, “We are proud sponsors of the Euromoney Qatar Conference.  Such conferences provide the right platform for financial industry practitioners to exchange insights and discuss the growing role of conventional and Islamic banking in maintaining a stable financial industry. We look forward to joining other industry experts in redefining Qatar’s financial landscape.”

QFB joins other leading financial institutions in Qatar at the conference that is set to witness a strong presence of international delegates. In 2012, the event brought together over 600 people from 30 countries