QFIB Joins INJAZ Qatar Volunteer Programme

QFIB has signed up as corporate volunteers to support INJAZ Qatar. Ten members of staff will volunteer to deliver Injaz’s educational programs.

Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB), the non-affiliated fully Shari’ah compliant Investment bank licensed by the Qatar Financial Centre Authority, has signed up as corporate volunteers to support INJAZ Qatar. Ten members of staff will volunteer to deliver Injaz’s educational programs.

INJAZ Qatar is part of INJAZ al-Arab, an affiliate of Junior Achievement Worldwide, the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students about entrepreneurship, work readiness, and financial literacy through fun, experimental, hands on programs.

Mike de Graffenried, QFIB CEO commented: “We are proud to support INJAZ Qatar in its endeavor to inspire a culture of entrepreneurialism and business innovation among Arab youth. As a corporate citizen, QFIB is committed to the education and development of Qatari youth. Partnering with Injaz will provide us with an opportunity to transfer our business skills and professional knowledge to the younger generation to help them become successful business entrepreneurs in the future.”

QFIB volunteers comprise heads of various business units in the bank including, finance, compliance, risk, IT, and corporate communications, giving true cross business representation. They will deliver Injaz courses which focus on work readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship.

Fayza Mehanna, INJAZ Principal Advisor for Qatar, added: “We are pleased to welcome QFIB as a corporate partner. Financial literacy is a core element of the programme and there is no doubt that the enthusiasm and expertise of QFIB volunteers will motivate students at all levels in developing their business and leadership skills. Participating students will have the opportunity to learn the way the financial sector operates from professionals who have many years of experience in the banking sector. And in a few years time these students will hopefully be the next financial innovators and entrepreneurs, who will take Qatar’s investment banking sector forward.”

The strategic partnership with local and multinational businesses is unique about the INJAZ model. Each semester business leaders send staff into schools, bringing their know-how and enthusiasm into the classroom. These professionals, become role models for students sharing their experience, know-how and success stories while motivating students to succeed.

Qatar First Investment Bank partners with Gulfmena Alternative Investments

QFIB and Gulfmena Alternative Investments Limited (GAIL) today announced a strategic partnership to establish a unique, one-stop Shar’’ah compliant asset management company

Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) and Gulfmena Alternative Investments Limited (GAIL) today announced a strategic partnership to establish a unique, one-stop Shar’’ah compliant asset management company. It will be the first of its kind in the region offering an unrivalled range of Islamic investment products and services.

Qatar First Investment Bank, based in Qatar and regulated by Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority will own majority shares of the new asset management company, whilst Gulfmena Alternative Investments, an asset management company, based in Dubai and regulated by Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) will manage the investments. After an initial and temporary offshore establishment, the new company will seek to be authorised and regulated by Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority and will have its own Shari’ah supervisory board.

The new asset management company, expected to launch in fourth quarter 2010, will offer a total solutions platform to meet the needs of the Islamic investment community. It will provide a fully integrated range of Shari’ah compliant products and services covering all asset classes and catering to qualified investors such as foundations, charitable organizations, Awqaf, Islamic banks, Takaful and Re-takaful companies as well as high-net worth individuals.

Clients will benefit from this strategic alliance by capitalizing on Gulfmena’s extensive knowledge in asset management, the team’s long track record in managing investments in the region, its product know-how, and its ability to bring new products and services to the market. They will also benefit from the expertise and network of QFIB which is one of the fastest growing Islamic investment banks in the region.

Commenting on the partnership, Emad Mansour, Deputy CEO and Chief Investment Officer of QFIB, said: “We are pleased to be partnering with Gulfmena Alternative Investments. By capitalizing on Gulfmena’s expertise in the field of asset management and our broad network, the new company aims to meet the increased demand for Shari’ah based products and services in the market.”

“Our vision for the new company is to place the Islamic investment universe within easy reach of all of our investors. It will present an optimal and constantly evolving asset allocation mix in order to capture viable investment opportunities with a keen eye on risk, compliance and reporting,” he concluded.

Haissam Arabi, CEO of Gulfmena said: “We are delighted to collaborate with QFIB in this new initiative. We could not have picked a better partner. QFIB shares our vision in offering a unique proposition for Islamic investors on the regional and international level.”

“We believe there is tremendous opportunity given the growth prospects of the Shari’ah compliant financial sector. We are looking forward to satisfy the investment and financial needs of this sector as it continues to be challenged by the lack of innovation in products and services.”

Qatar First Investment Bank concludes ‘Ramadan Blessings’ Campaign

Qatar First Investment Bank concludes ‘Ramadan Blessings’ Campaign

Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) concluded its ‘Ramadan Blessings’ campaign on Monday by visiting children at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) to present them with gifts in celebration of Eid Al Fitr.

A group of QFIB staff led by CEO Mike de Graffenried visited the children’s ward at HMC to present the children with gifts on the occasion of the forthcoming Eid Al Fitr.

Mike de Graffenried, CEO of QFIB said: “Eid Al Fitr marks the end of the Holy month of Ramadan, the month of sharing and giving. This inspired us to celebrate this joyous occasion with the children at HMC with the aim of bringing smiles to their faces. QFIB encourages our staff to give back to the community especially during the Holy month. This visit concludes our Ramadan Blessings campaign, where our aim to make a difference in the community through our various good deeds.”

Director of Marketing & Public Relations at Hamad Medical Corporation, Abdulla Al Khalef said: “Eid El Fitr is a special and joyous occasion for everyone, specifically children. We would like to extend our appreciation and gratitude to QFIB for making this occasion more special for the children. This is a clear testament of QFIB’s commitment to the community.”

QFIB’s ‘Ramadan Blessings’ Campaign also included an Iftar for QFIB employees, families and friends. The Iftar, which was held at La Cigale hotel, was an opportunity for QFIB employees, with diverse cultures and traditions, to experience Ramadan together and mingle in an informal atmosphere. It was also an opportunity for QFIB to thank many of the contributing members of the Qatar community. The Iftar was well attended by QFIB employees and their families, members of the media and business associates.

Mike de Graffenried, CEO of QFIB said, “Ramadan is a month of solidarity and brotherhood. It is a time where we join together as one family and enjoy the spirit of the Holy month. QFIB’s annual Iftar, part of our ‘Ramadan Blessings’ campaign brings together our multicultural workforce under one roof and celebrates the spirit of team work.”

Qatar First Investment Bank acquires a stake in a Leading Turkish based healthcare provider

QFIB announced that along with ARGUS Capital acquired a 40% minority stake in Memorial Health Group (MHG)

Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) announced that along with ARGUS Capital, a London based private equity house, acquired a 40% minority stake in Memorial Health Group (MHG), one of the leading healthcare providers in Turkey.

MHG began operations in February 2000 and is among the top two ‘class A’ healthcare groups in Turkey, offering high quality service with well respected physicians and state-of-the-art equipment. MHG offers a full range of medical services covering 41 branches of medicine including, but not limited to, general surgery, cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, organ transplants, neurosurgery, and orthopaedics.

MHG’s main hospital complex is located in Okmeydani in Istanbul, a 55,000 square meter facility with a 214 bed capacity. In addition, MHG also operates two other complexes, one on the Asian side of Istanbul in Atasehir district with 114 bed capacity and the other in the Bahcelievler on the European side with a 148 bed capacity. MHG also operates a complex in Antalya in addition to two outpatient polyclinics both located in Istanbul.

A proven market leader, MHG was the first hospital to receive the Joint Commission International Accreditation in 2002 and has since renewed in 2005 and 2008. It was also the first private hospital to carry out liver and kidney transplantation and blood-type incompatible pediatric liver transplantation.

Commenting on the agreement, Abdullah Bin Fahad Bin Ghorab Al Marri, Chairman of Qatar First Investment Bank, said: “Healthcare is a key sector for QFIB. It is a growing sector in the MENA region and is resilient to economic downturns due to the necessity of the services. Turkey, being the largest Islamic country in Europe and the Middle East, is an extremely important market. The acquisition of a stake in Memorial Health Group, the leading Turkish healthcare provider with a growing number of patients nationwide, is a clear indication of our intention to diversify and establish ourselves in a number of key growth industries.”

“This is our second deal in the health care sector and we are confident that our stake in Memorial Health Group will result in significant growth. The company has a proven track record of success. Their market share and future plans make them exactly the type of company we look to invest in,” he concluded.

QFIB and ARGUS Capital were advised by Daruma Corporate Finance on this transaction, the leading healthcare advisory company in Turkey. As the originator of the deal Daruma Corporate Finance contributed to the success of this acquisition by aligning the interests of all parties concerned through the negotiation, due diligence and closing processes.

Turgut Aydın, President and Chairman of Memorial Health Group said: “We are pleased to welcome QFIB into the group as an investor and advisor. QFIB enjoys a sound reputation as a fast growing bank with a diverse shareholder base. Their experience and unique expertise will undoubtedly benefit Memorial Health Group as we endeavor to continue developing our offer in Turkey and abroad. QFIB shares our vision in maintaining MHG’s leadership position in the growing healthcare sector.”

Managing Partner of ARGUS Capital, Ali R. Artunkal commented, “We consider the investment in Memorial as our landmark entry to the Turkish market which we have been actively focusing on in the past three years, and we are excited about Memorial’s remarkable development and future growth potential which we shall work together with our partners, the Aydin Family, QFIB and Memorial’s management to realize.”

Qatar First Investment Bank hosts special Garangaou iftar for children of the Dhreima Friends Club

QFIB started its annual “Ramadan Blessings” campaign by hosting an iftar for the children of the Dhreima Friends Club to celebrate the Garangaou

Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) started its annual “Ramadan Blessings” campaign by hosting an iftar for the children of the Dhreima Friends Club to celebrate the Garangaou. This is the first of a series of community related activities planned during the Holy month of Ramadan.

QFIB management, staff and their families invited the children and staff of Dhreima Friends club to join them at the Diplomatic Club where they were entertained with a variety of activities including face painting, henna drawing and fun games. The children were also given traditional Garangaou bags and gifts to mark the special occasion.

Garangaou is a special Qatari tradition for children and is celebrated on the 14th of Ramadan. Children often dress up in traditional gowns and visit neighbors and friends, chanting songs and prayers for the wellbeing of the residents of the house. In return, the children are given nuts and sweets.

Mike de Graffenried, CEO of QFIB said, “Ramadan is a special month. It promotes solidarity and brotherhood. As a conscious corporate citizen and an Islamic institution QFIB is committed to reach out to the local community and contribute to its welfare. We are delighted to share the celebrations of the Garangaou with the children of the Dhreima Friends Club, for the second year. The Garangaou celebration is a worthwhile opportunity for QFIB employees and their families to observe such a tradition and to strengthen ties with members of the local community during the special month of Ramadan.”

Wajeeda Abdulla, the director of the social activities from Dhreima Friends Club said,” We thank Qatar First Investment Bank for hosting our children for the second year. Such a celebration helps in preserving a Qatari tradition as well as creating a bond between different members of the community. This clearly indicates the bank’s strong belief in solidarity and commitment to Shari’ah principles.”

Dhreima Friends Club aims to provide an integrated Islamic system of care and shelter for orphans in the State of Qatar. Dhreima believes ensuring the welfare of orphans is the responsibility of society which is why partnering with other local organisations is an important aspect of their work.

Qatar First Investment Bank continues to deliver on commitment to training Staff

QFIB today announced the completion of an employee training program on anti money laundering (AML) and countering financial terrorism (CFT).

Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB), the leading Shar’iah-compliant, unaffiliated investment bank, today announced the completion of an employee training program on anti money laundering (AML) and countering financial terrorism (CFT).

Training day

The first workshop, held on Tuesday, August 3rd, was delivered by Mr. Reza Zaidi, Head of Compliance and Mr. Duncan Gore, Compliance & AML Manager at QFIB. Senior members of the Strategic Investment and Private Equity departments were updated on the latest rules and regulations of the Qatar Financial Centre and were provided a refresh of applicable Qatari laws. The in-house training session was tailored to staff responsibilities with regards to AML and CFT and included case studies to illustrate the importance of this issue.

“Although AML and CFT have always been a key area of consideration for QFIB, we have recently increased efforts to ensure that the bank remains ahead of the curve both in terms of internal control as well as practical application in this area,” explained Mr. Zaidi. “These interactive training sessions have been developed to provide staff with an insight into their AML and CFT responsibilities in line with legal and regulatory rules as well as global best practice.”

“QFIB is keen to ensure that employees are well informed and up-to-date with the latest industry standards, including those for anti-money laundering and countering financial terrorism,” said Mike de Graffenried, Chief Executive Officer of QFIB.

“Training workshops like these also contribute to protecting the interests of our clients and shareholders and ultimately, help QFIB achieve better performance, avoid risk and enhance success,” he concluded

Qatar First Investment Bank Trains Staff on Shari’ah Compliant Banking Practices

QFIB has conducted a one -day workshop at its headquarters on Shari’ah Compliant banking.

In line with its commitment to train and develop its staff, Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) has conducted a one -day workshop at its headquarters on Shari’ah Compliant banking.

Training Day

The workshop, held on Sunday, 20 June, was delivered by Dr. Ali Al Quradaghi, the chairman of QFIB’s Shari’ah Supervisory Board and a respected researcher and professor in the Faculty of Shari’ah at Qatar University.

Dr. Al Quradaghi said, “Shari’ah compliant finance has proven its resilience to the global financial crisis as it prohibits dealing in activities such debt trading and market speculation that have contributed to this credit crunch.

“On the global scene, Shari’ah compliant finance is increasingly becoming popular, as many look at it as a safe haven and an alternative financial solution. I greatly applaud QFIB’s initiative and efforts in ensuring that its staff is kept regularly updated on the fundamentals, practices and business ethics of Shari’ah compliant banking. This means QFIB will remain at the forefront of Shari’ah complaint investment banking.”

The 40 staff members of the bank’s team looked at the underlying differences between Shari’ah compliant and conventional banking, discussed the essential financial tools used in Shari’ah compliant banking and how investments can be considered Sharia’h compliant.

Mike de Graffenried, Chief Executive Officer of QFIB, said: “Training and developing our employees is at the heart of our HR strategy. QFIB aims to become one of the leading financial institutions in Shari’ah compliant investment banking in Qatar and the GCC. This workshop is in line with our commitment to train and develop our staff and keep them updated with the latest developments in Shari’ah compliant banking

Partnership between Qatar First Investment Bank and Ithmar Announced

Partnership between Qatar First Investment Bank and Ithmar Announced

Qatar First Investment Bank and Ithmar Capital, a regional private equity firm, announced today the launch of a new healthcare platform which will seek to capitalize on the extensive growth opportunities in the healthcare service and pharmaceutical/life science sectors in the GCC. This healthcare platform represents the first collaboration between QFIB and Ithmar Capital combining their region-wide resources and expertise. This partnership is QFIB’s first venture in the health care sector, and demonstrates the Bank’s cross-sector expertise.

QFIB and Ithmar Capital jointly announced the completion of their first healthcare initiative – a strategic equity partnership with Al Noor Medical Company. Al Noor Medical Company, based in the UAE, is a state of the art institution offering a full array of healthcare services. Established in 1985 as a polyclinic, Al Noor has developed into the leading private provider of integrated healthcare services in Abu Dhabi with three hundred beds in three secondary care hospitals, three primary care clinics and ten pharmacies. Its credentials include accreditation from Joint Commission International (JCI), affiliation with the Children’s Hospital Boston as well as being awarded the Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award consecutively over 2002 – 2007, and the Sheikh Khalifa Gold Excellence Award in 2009.

Abdulla bin Fahad bin Ghorab Al Marri, Chairman of QFIB said: “Today we are launching an important regional initiative in the growing GCC healthcare market. The platform is innovative; market leading and we are very pleased to be partnering with Ithmar on this exciting project. We take great care in forming partnerships and only select highly professional, reputable and credible companies to work with to ensure mutual success.” He added, “This strategic partnership will give QFIB exposure to the health care business in addition to the opportunity of establishing a foothold in this growing sector.”

Faisal Belhoul, Managing Partner and Founder of Ithmar Capital, said, “We are proud to partner with Qatar First Investment Bank as we believe QFIB is an excellent strategic partner with an outstanding track record and high credibility. Our alliance with QFIB is an optimal fit, leveraging on the Bank’s extensive shareholder network in Qatar and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. QFIB has demonstrated its ability to generate attractive returns by building shareholder value through hard work, collaboration with companies and active participation.”

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.

Saudi Arabian PE market is the most important in the region, says Qatar First Investment Bank

Saudi Arabian PE market is the most important in the region, says Qatar First Investment Bank

QFIB, the Qatar independent Islamic investment bank, is predicting that the Saudi Arabian market will have an influential role in developing the private equity (PE) market across the region. The days of highly leveraged buyouts (LBOs) have gone and it will be the family and entrepreneurial businesses looking for increased funding and management efficiencies who should take another look at what PE firms have to offer.

QFIB’s Deputy CEO, Emad Mansour, said: “There is no doubt the private equity industry has changed and companies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia– in particular family businesses– should look again at what PE firms have to offer,”.

“In any deal, with the absence of debt funding, PE firms will have to provide real in-depth value and management support which allows significant business growth and improvement. With the injection of capital and a focus on increased output and efficiency, KSA firms can get real benefit from PE.”

For many firms investment capital remains in short supply, and yet many market sectors are starting to show signs of recovery and growth. Saudi firms have an opportunity to prepare for growth and expand their businesses and influence across the region.

“As a non-affiliated Shari’ah compliant investment bank we have the same outlook and approach of many family businesses: we want to have controlled consistent growth and provide the right level of returns for our investors. The financing and management support we provide can help family firms, who have the vision and drive to take their businesses forward, achieve this.” concluded Mr Mansour.

A senior delegation of Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) executives will be attending the 2010 Saudi Investment and Private Equity Summit, opening on Saturday at the Al Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Mansour will be participating in a panel discussion entitled “Saudi Arabia Investor Perspective – The Most Powerful KSA Investors Discuss Regional Family Office Expectations” along with senior representatives from Jarir Investments and the Government of Saudi Arabia. The panel will explore the changing needs and expectations for regional family offices/investors and more specifically, how to maintain investor support and confidence given the recent crisis.

Held each year in strategic partnership with the Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (SAGIA) and Outlook Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Investment Private Equity Summit is the Kingdom’s premier investment, private equity and venture capital event. Over 400 senior banking industry executives attend the event that attracts regional players like Amwal AlKhaleej, Rasmala Investment Bank, Shuaa Capital, Siraj Capital, Jarir Investments and HBG Holdings Private Equity.

Qatar First Investment Bank to sponsor Private Equity International Middle East Forum 2010

Qatar First Investment Bank to sponsor Private Equity International Middle East Forum 2010

Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) today announced it will sponsor the 6th Annual Private Equity International (PEI) Middle East Forum 2010, opening tomorrow at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, UAE.

“We are pleased to support and participate in this prestigious private equity forum,” said QFIB Deputy CEO & Chief Investment Officer Emad Mansour.

Mr. Mansour will be participating in a panel discussion along with senior executives from KPMG, Alvarez & Marsal and NASDAQ Dubai, examining strategies for growth as the region recovers from the global downturn.

“There is no doubt the private equity (PE) industry has changed and companies in the Middle East, in particular family businesses, should look again at what PE firms have to offer”.

“In any deal, with the absence of unattractive debt funding, PE firms will have to provide real in-depth value and management support which allows significant business growth and improvement,” commented Mr. Mansour.

PEI Media, the leading financial information group dedicated to alternative assets globally, hosts the prestigious PEI forum each year which features the biggest names in international and regional private equity. Under the banner of Sustaining Growth, Creating Value, this year’s forum will examine in detail the role private equity can have in helping the emerging economies of the Middle East, North Africa & South Asia region play their part in restructuring of the economic system

Boeing, Qatar First Investment Bank highlight aircraft investment opportunities at inaugural Qatar Round Table

Boeing, Qatar First Investment Bank highlight aircraft investment opportunities at inaugural Qatar Round Table

Qatar-based bankers and financiers heard today from Boeing and Qatar First Investment Bank that the health of the Middle East’s air-travel industry compared to other global regions continues to drive good investment opportunities in aircraft financing.

“The Middle East was the only part of the world to see air passenger growth during the current downturn. This is a positive sign of industry health which, when combined with reduced competition in the financing marketplace because of current market conditions, creates great opportunities for people with capital who are willing to invest,” said Mr. John Matthews, managing director for the Middle East and Africa at Boeing Capital Corporation, the aircraft manufacturer’s customer financing unit.

Mr. Matthews, along with Mr. Mike de Graffenried, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar First Investment Bank, co hosted the company’s first ever Financier and Investors Qatar Roundtable at the Four Seasons Hotel, Doha. The event saw one of the largest turnouts to date for such a company-sponsored regional roundtable.

The event brought together senior corporate executives of leading financial institutions and investment companies in Qatar. It was part of Boeing’s investor outreach program aimed at energizing and expanding markets for aircraft financing.

The agenda included presentations on the current aviation market environment, Boeing product strategy and an overview of aircraft financing both regionally and internationally.

Boeing noted that while aircraft as an asset class have held up better than most other investment alternatives, the current market disruption has created even better opportunities for savvy investors.

“Financiers willing to take advantage of the short-term market dislocations with a view toward creating a long-term aircraft portfolio should find themselves generously rewarded,” said Matthews.

Boeing uses its roundtable events around the world to link financiers with financing opportunities in its customer airlines. It recognized QFIB for its leadership in co-hosting the groundbreaking Qatar event.

“QFIB is a dynamic and highly-respected banking player in the Middle East who is exploring opportunities in the aviation sector and is interested in staying updated about Boeing products and what they have to offer,” Matthews said.

Mr. de Graffenried commented: “QFIB is pleased to be a partner with a global player in the aviation industry like Boeing. There is great potential for sound investment opportunities in this sector and QFIB aims to develop further understanding of the current dynamics of the aviation industry following the financial crisis.

QFIB hopes to enrich the financial community in Qatar through updates on the developments in the aviation industry, along with investment in aviation as an important and emerging asset class in the region.”

Through its ongoing events, Boeing Capital actively encourages the Middle East’s emergence as an increasingly important source of aircraft financing.

“Aircraft are ideal for Shari’ah compliant financing since a fundamental criterion is that such investments be asset based,” Matthews said. He added that the company continues to focus on seeing if aircraft financing can be included in the Islamic Sukuk, or bond, market.

Boeing’s latest market outlook reports airline industry growth in the Middle East is expected to continue over the next 20 years. The 2009 outlook valued the Middle East market at $300 billion over the next two decades, which translates into an expected need for 1,710 commercial jets.

About QFIB:

Qatar First Investment Bank is the first, fully independent Shari’ah compliant investment bank to be authorized by the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA). It launched in March 2009 with an authorised capital of QAR 3.65 billion (US$ 1 billion) and a paid up capital of QAR 1.6 billion (US$ 430 million). Qatar First Investment Bank aims to become one of the leading financial institutions in Shari’ah compliant investment banking in Qatar and the GCC.

With over 1,000 investors from Qatar and the GCC, Qatar First Investment Bank has a solid shareholder base made up of prominent individuals as well as institutional investors. These include financial institutions and banks, governments, pension funds and other strategic investors.

Qatar First Investment Bank has a clear, dynamic and focused strategy and operates to the highest regulatory standards. The bank is managed by a select team of multinational investment professionals, with extensive experience working in the GCC and global financial sectors.

Qatar First Investment Bank offers private equity, strategic investments, asset management and corporate finance advisory.

About The Boeing Company and Boeing Capital Corporation:

Boeing is the world’s leading aerospace company and the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft combined. Additionally, Boeing designs and manufactures rotorcraft, electronic and defense systems, missiles, satellites, launch vehicles and advanced information and communication systems. As a major service provider to NASA, Boeing operates the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. The company also provides numerous military and commercial airline support services. Boeing has customers in more than 90 countries around the world and is one of the largest U.S. exporters in terms of sales. Headquartered in Chicago, Boeing employs more than 150,000 people across the United States and in 70 countries. Total company revenues for 2009 were $68.3 billion.

As a wholly owned Boeing subsidiary, BCC creates financing solutions for customers purchasing the company’s commercial airplane and defense products. As the company’s investment bank, it works closely with third-party financing sources that provide nearly all of the financing support required by Boeing customers. BCC also manages the company’s U.S. $6 billion portfolio of approximately 320 aircraft, many of them newer, fuel efficient jetliners.

QFIB acquires 71.3% of Emirates National Factory for Plastic Industries L.L.C.

QFIB acquires 71.3% of Emirates National Factory for Plastic Industries L.L.C.

Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) has signed an agreement to acquire a 71.3 % interest in Emirates National Factory for Plastic Industries L.L.C. (ENPI), a full-service flexible packaging manufacturer, largely through a capital injection. The total amount of the transaction was not disclosed.

Established in 1995, ENPI is one of the MENA region’s leading plastics manufacturers with a diverse customer base of more than 1,400 clients in more than 40 countries, including DHL, Etisalat, and Emirates Airlines.

ENPI is a business group composed of seven different companies each specializing in the production of a certain family of plastic packaging materials. The company’s manufacturing hub is based in Sharjah and Dubai, but it has recently embarked on an expansion facility in Abu Dhabi. The company has also established representative offices in many countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

ENPI produces superior quality products in extrusion film, PET bottles, self adhesive labels, aluminum foils and many other products used for packaging. Additional expansion is planned within the GCC. The company employs more than 850 employees including researchers, printing technologists, software engineers, polymer engineers, information specialists and sales and marketing professionals.

Commenting on the transaction, Abdullah Bin Fahad Bin Ghorab Al Marri, Chairman of Qatar First Investment Bank said: “We are pleased with this strategic partnership with ENPI, an award winning manufacturer. This deal represents QFIB’s diversification into the industrial sector, which given the GCC’s sound economic fundamentals, is expected to grow significantly over the next few years.”

“QFIB’s acquisition of 71.3% stake is a majority ownership of ENPI, which is a healthy company with a great potential for growth. Its revenues have increased by 41.2% and 48.3% in 2007 and 2008 respectively. The company is well established and enjoys strong management. With QFIB’s capital injection, the company will be able to expand further in the region. Furthermore, this strategic partnership will give QFIB exposure to the manufacturing business in addition to the opportunity of establishing a foothold in this growing industry.”

Chief Executive Officer of Emirates National Factory for Plastic Industries, Mr. Nizar Rajoub said: “We are pleased with this partnership with QFIB, who in spite launching recently, has already built a sound reputation of being a professional and credible bank. We take great care in forming partnerships and only select highly professional, reputable and credible companies to work with to ensure mutual success.”

“ENPI has received recognition from global industry specialists, and with this partnership we will be able to implement our expansion plans and take the company to new heights.”

“ENPI has more than 15 years experience in plastics and conversion manufacturing and we are anticipating a period of growth and expansion with the support of our partner QFIB” he added.

QFIB acquires a landmark building in Doha

QFIB acquires a landmark building in Doha

Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) has acquired a landmark building in a prime location in Doha from Al Jazeerah Islamic Company (AJIC), a Qatar based Shari’ah financial solutions provider to house its corporate headquarters. The acquisition of the building on Suhaim Bin Hamad Street in Doha’s thriving Al Saad area represents QFIB’s first real estate investment in Qatar. Qatar First Investment Bank has also acquired stakes in AJIC from Kuwait based Global Investment House.

The building was acquired from AJIC for an amount of QAR 185 million (US$50.7 million). The location of the building is approved by the Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA). The Qatar First Investment Bank building has more than 11,000 square meters spread over 10 floors, in addition to a mezzanine level and ground floor. QFIB will occupy three floors to house its corporate headquarters. Commenting on both transactions, Chairman of Qatar First Investment Bank, Abdulla Bin Fahad Bin Ghorab Al Marri said “Our business strategy focuses on building a diversified portfolio of investments in key sectors of the economy of which the real estate and financial sectors are included. The acquisition of both the building and the shares present sound investment opportunities for QFIB. Being centrally located, the building is in an ideal location to establish the bank’s headquarters. Furthermore, confidence in the real estate sector in Qatar remains high in spite of the current economic situation, and office space in prominent locations in Doha is still at a premium.”

“The acquisition of the building will provide QFIB with substantial rental cash flow and as a fully-licensed QFC building, we will benefit from the number of international investors entering the market who will require quality office space,” stated the Chairman.

“We acquired the shares of AJIC because we strongly believe in its ability to continue to develop and contribute to the financial sector of the economy. AJIC is a healthy and fast growing financial services company that is licensed by Qatar Central Bank. It has no exposure to toxic assets and has not suffered directly from the global downturn.”

Chairman of Al Jazeera Islamic Company, Mohamed Abdul Latif Almana said, “We are pleased with the successful sale of the building and welcome QFIB as one of our shareholders. We both share the same vision of providing customers with innovative products and highest level of services. Qatar’s solid current and projected GDP growth has resulted in a rapid increase in population.” he said. “Coupled with the tight liquidity environment caused by the current global financial crisis, this development puts upward pressure on the supply of financing and presents an enviable situation for AJIC

As part of its strategy to build a balanced Oil & Gas investment portfolio, Qatar First Investment Bank acquires a 41% stake in QCon

As part of its strategy to build a balanced Oil & Gas investment portfolio, Qatar First Investment Bank acquires a 41% stake in QCon

Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) has announced that it has recently acquired a 41% equity stake in Qatar Engineering & Construction Company, one of the largest Qatar based engineering firms specializing in executing engineering projects for the oil and gas industry. The acquisition transaction was signed a few days ago at a ceremony in Doha marking QFIB’s debut transaction in this sector and in Qatar.

Qatar First Investment Bank, a newly established investment bank based in Doha stated that this acquisition represents its first step towards building a significant portfolio of investments in the oil and gas industry across the region, which will cover various businesses within the sector including production, transportation, conversion operations as well as services.

In the six months since hosting President Bill Clinton at its much talked about launch event, Qatar First Investment Bank is fast becoming one of the leading financial institutions in Shari’ah compliant investment banking in Qatar and the GCC. It aims to provide its investor base with a diversified portfolio of investments in various key industries within the GCC and the MENA region.

QFIB’s business strategy is focused on building a diversified portfolio of investments in five different key economic sectors, which include Oil & Gas, Financial Services, Industrial, Health Care and Real Estate.

Chairman of Qatar First Investment Bank, Abdullah Al Marri stated “QFIB entered the market six months ago with an authorised capital of QAR 3.65 billion (US$ 1billion) and a paid up capital of QAR 1.6 billion (US$ 430million),” he said.

He added, “We have agreed and started implementing a sophisticated and diverse investment strategy, generating unique opportunities for our clientele. Our business plan is built on the basis of sound fundamental economic factors in the GCC and MENA region, supported by favourable demographics and strong economic growth driven by energy and commodity exports.”

QFIB has an ambitious plan to become a prominent long term player in the Energy sector by investing in existing assets and by playing a key role in M&A and capital raising activities within the sector. Growth in the Energy and Oil & Gas sectors is set to continue leading to a greater demand in engineering services, which QCON is ideally positioned to capitalise on.

Qatar First Investment Bank is the first, fully independent, Shari’ah compliant investment bank to be authorized by the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority.

Consortium acquires Qatar Engineering & Construction Company

Consortium acquires Qatar Engineering & Construction Company

A Consortium comprising of institutions from Qatar and Bahrain announces that it has acquired Qatar Engineering & Construction Company WLL (QCon), one of Qatar’s leading industrial engineering and construction contracting companies specialising in the Oil & Gas, Petrochemical, Power and other industrial infrastructure sectors. The transaction sees Qatar America Asia Consortium (QAAC), Bahrain-based Unicorn Investment Bank (Unicorn), Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) and The First Investor (TFI) acquire 100% of QCon from Qatar Shipping. QAAC is the Co-Originator of the transaction, with Unicorn acting as Co-Originator and Arranger. The Consortium formed a close partnership to structure the transaction according to Shari’ah principles. QFIB and TFI are the largest shareholders in the Consortium, having each acquired a 41% stake in QCon.

Established in 1975, QCon is organised along three main business lines: Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC); Maintenance; and Fabrication. The company has successfully executed over 1,400 construction projects in a broad range of industrial sectors. QCon is the leading contractor in Qatar’s Oil & Gas sector and is also the market leader in the provision of maintenance services. The company also has dedicated facilities to carry out the fabrication of heavy off-shore structures, including a topside production facility located in Qatar’s Mesaieed Industrial City.

Commenting on the acquisition, Shaikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed Bin Jabor Al Thani, Chairman of QAAC, said: “We are proud to have formed a strategic alliance with three of the region’s leading financial institutions to acquire QCon, and we are confident that the Consortium will be able to add tremendous value to the company as it enters the next phase of its growth.”

Majid Al Sayed Bader Al-Refai, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Unicorn, commented: “We are delighted to have put together a strong Consortium and to have the opportunity to partner with leading Qatari institutions to acquire QCon, an acknowledged heavyweight in the Qatar Oil & Gas sector. Our investment in QCon marks Unicorn’s third investment in the regional energy sector in recent months and reflects our confidence in the ability of the sector to continue to drive regional economic growth.”

Abdullah Bin Fahad Bin Ghorab Al-Marri, Chairman of QFIB, added: “We are pleased to be part of such a Consortium. This is an important investment for QFIB in the energy sector and we look forward to working with our partners to support QCon’s expansion plans, both in Qatar and within the broader MENA region. We are confident of QCon’s ability to capitalise on the future growth of the Oil & Gas sector and large-scale industrial projects, which will result in an increase in the demand for engineering, construction and maintenance services. QCon is well placed to take advantage of these developments to further grow its business regionally.”

Mohammed Abdulaziz Saad Al-Saad, Board Member of TFI, commented: “QCon is the market leader in the Qatari contracting and maintenance sectors and is an excellent position to grow, particularly given the company’s long experience serving the largest industries in the region: Oil, Gas and Power. We look forward to working with our partners and with QCon’s highly experienced management team to support the company’s next phase of growth. We also intend to leverage the synergies with our other portfolio companies to achieve long-term growth for QCon.”

QCon has been wholly owned by Qatar Shipping since 2006.

Qatar First Investment Bank hosts a special iftar for the residents of the Qatari Institution for Elderly Persons’ Care

Qatar First Investment Bank hosts a special iftar for the residents of the Qatari Institution for Elderly Persons’ Care

Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) continues its “Ramadan Blessings” campaign by hosting an iftar for the Qatari Institution for Elderly Persons’ Care on Sunday to mark the forthcoming Eid El Fitr.

QFIB senior management and staff organized an iftar for the residents of the Qatari Institution for the Elderly at their premises to promote solidarity and brotherhood with the different segments of society. QFIB employees exchanged conversation with the elderly over an iftar meal, and then distributed gifts to all residents of the institution, on the occasion of the forthcoming Eid al Fitr.

The Qatari Institution for Elderly Persons’ Care is a private institution. Based in Doha, the institution provides shelter for elderly persons whose families are unable to look after them. It also offers health, social and psychological care and endeavours to integrate the elderly members of community into Qatari society.

CEO of QFIB, Mike de Graffenried said: “We are delighted to share an iftar with the residents of the Qatari Institution for the Elderly Persons’ Care. At QFIB we take our corporate social responsibility role seriously. We launched the ‘Ramadan Blessings’ campaign during the holy month to support the local community and reach out to those less fortunate in the society. This underlines the Islamic nature of our business. ”

Qatari Institution for Elderly Persons’ Care’s General Manager, Mr. Youssef Al Muftah stated: “We thank Qatar First Investment Bank for this noble initiative. We are honored to have the employees of the bank share an iftar with the residents of the institution. This clearly indicates the bank’s strong belief in solidarity and commitment to Shari’ah principles.”

Qatar First Investment Bank is the first, fully independent Shari’ah compliant investment bank to be authorized by the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority. It launched in March and aims to become one of the leading financial institutions in Shari’ah compliant investment banking in Qatar and the GCC

Qatar First Investment Bank celebrates Garangou with children of the Dhreima Friends Club

Qatar First Investment Bank celebrates Garangou with children of the Dhreima Friends Club

Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) continued its “Ramadan Blessings” campaign for the Holy Month of Ramadan on Saturday by hosting an iftar for the children of the Dhreima Friends Club to celebrate the Garangaou.

QFIB Chairman, staff and their families invited the children of Dhreima Friends Club to share an iftar at the Milllenium Hotel where they were entertained by a variety of children’s acts including the well-known characters from the popular UAE-based cartoon “Freej”. QFIB staff gave the children Garangaou bags and gifts to mark the special occasion.

Garangaou is a special Qatari tradition for children and is celebrated on the 14th of Ramadan. Garangaou is a time where it is customary for children to dress up in traditional gowns and visit neighbours and collect nuts and sweets.

Dhreima Friends Club aims to provide an integrated Islamic system of care and shelter for orphans in the State of Qatar. Dhreima believes ensuring the welfare of orphans is the responsibility of society which is why partnering with other local organisations is an important aspect of their work.

Chairman of QFIB, Abdulla Ghorab Al Marri said: “At QFIB, we are committed to reaching out to the local community and raising awareness of noble causes. This underlines the Islamic nature of our organization. We constantly encourage our staff to contribute to the community whether through financial contributions or in kind especially during special times such as the Holy Month of Ramadan. We are delighted to participate in celebrating this cultural occasion with the children of Dhreima Friends Club and succeed in placing a smile on the childrens’ faces.”

Other social activities planned under the Ramadan Blessings’ campaign include hosting an Iftar for the Qatari Institute of Elderly Persons’ Care to celebrate Eid El Fit’r. QFIB employees and family members will participate in this initiative.

Qatar First Investment Bank is the first, fully independent Shari’ah compliant investment bank to be authorized by the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority. It launched in March and aims to become one of the leading financial institutions in Shari’ah compliant investment banking in Qatar and the GCC

QFIB promotes solidarity and brother hood during the Holy Month of Ramadan

QFIB promotes solidarity and brother hood during the Holy Month of Ramadan

Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) announces the launch of “Ramadan Blessings” a special campaign during the Holy Month of Ramadan as part of its corporate social responsibility. “Ramadan Blessings” campaign will include a series of social activities that aim to promote solidarity and brotherhood during this special month by bringing QFIB employees and families closer to the less fortunate members of society.

QFIB’s Ramadan Blessing’s campaign kicked off on Sunday night with an Iftar for all QFIB employees and their families at Doha’s Millennium Hotel. The Iftar was an opportunity for QFIB employees from many nations to experience Ramadan as well as promote team work and communication.

CEO of QFIB, Mike de Graffenried said: “Ramadan is a special month of the year. It’s all about sharing and giving. The Iftar was a good opportunity of bringing our employees of many nations together with their families to experience Ramadan and get to know each other. Social gatherings are important. They help to improve ties amongst employees and foster a spirit of team work, while underlining the Islamic nature of our organisation”

Other social activities planned under the “Ramadan Blessings’ campaign include a Garangaou celebration for the Dreihma Friends Club and an Iftar for the Qatari Institute of Elderly Persons’ Care. QFIB employees and family members will participate in both initiatives.

Qatar First Investment Bank is the first, fully independent Shari’ah compliant investment bank to be authorized by the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority. It launched in March and aims to become one of the leading financial institutions in Shari’ah compliant investment banking in Qatar and the GCC.