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02 May 2010

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.