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17 January 2012

QFIB ventures into F&B Industry with strategic stake in Al Rifai, Middle East’s leading kernel and snacks giant

QFIB has acquired a 15% stake in Al Rifai International Holding (Al Rifai)

Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB), Qatar’s independent Islamic investment bank, has acquired a 15% stake in Al Rifai International Holding (Al Rifai), a well-established and leading manufacturer of nuts, kernels, light snacks and delicacy in the Middle East and Europe.

The deal marks QFIB’s debut investment-venture in the food and beverage (F&B) manufacturing industry and demonstrates the bank’s commitment to sectoral diversification. Al Rifai’s wide presence in European markets also offers QFIB an opportunity to venture into new geographical regions.

Citing this venture as one of the Bank’s pioneering deals, Emad Mansour, CEO of QFIB commented, “We are very excited about our partnership with Al Rifai which is our first venture into the F&B manufacturing industry and our second investment in the industrial sector. From the outset our strategy was to focus on sectors that benefit from key drivers of economic change. Al Rifai is an award winning and market leader in the nuts, kernels, light snacks and delicacy business. It has consistently performed well over the years, diversified its product range and ventured into new markets; hence it is well positioned to take advantage of the rapidly growing global savory snack market which is expected to reach US$ 85.4 billion in 2012. We are very keen to work with Al Rifai management team to help the Group achieve its long term business objectives.”

Through representation on the board of directors, QFIB’s team will work closely with Al Rifai management at a strategic level to streamline business and drive future growth of the Group.

Well-positioned by the rising market confidence throughout the Middle East in the F&B sector , Mohamed Al Rifai, Chairman and CEO of Al Rifai International Holding commented, “We are very pleased to welcome QFIB as a shareholder in Al Rifai. Through QFIB’s strategic counsel, access to multiple sources of funding and risk management solutions, we are confident that Al Rifai will achieve its future expansion and growth plans. Our facilities are recipients of several international certificates including: ISO 22000, International Food Standards (IFS) and British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Food Technical Standard. QFIB’s commitment to adopt international standards and processes complements our global vision and high standards of quality control.”

According to Euromonitor International the Middle East retail sales volume of sweet and savory snacks is positioned to grow by a phenomenal 21% between 2010 and 2014. Al Rifai’s annual turnover growth of 50% during 2011 and expected growth of 33% during 2012 is a clear testament to the company’s excellent performance and success.

Established in 2009, QFIB is authorized by the QFC Regulatory Authority. In 2011 QFIB was awarded the accolade of “Best Investment Bank in the GCC” by CPI Financial in their Islamic Business and Finance Awards.