GFH’s second-quarter profit climbs on higher investment banking income

The Bahrain investment bank reports $23m in profit during the period

M5M0KT Skyline of Manama dominated by the World Trade Center Building. Bahrain
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Bahrain investment bank GFH Financial Group reported a 10 per cent increase in its second-quarter profit as investment banking income and income from co-investments rose as the company continues to boost its portfolio around the globe.

Net profit attributable to shareholders of the bank for the three months to the end of June climbed to $23.06 million compared with $20.92m during the same period last year, GFH said in a statement to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares are traded.

Investment banking income during the period rose 19 per cent to $20.4m, while income from co-investments surged more than fourfold to $10.94m.

“In line with our strategy of diversification, we further built our portfolio of investments across the Middle East, Europe and the US and listed our shares on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange,” said Ghazi Al Hajeri, chairman of GFH.

“GFH’s fourth listing on a regional exchange, the move aligns with efforts to broaden our geographic reach and shareholder base and to enhance visibility among key global and regional investors as we enter another phase of growth.”

The company also spun out its infrastructure and real estate assets into Infracorp with more than $1 billion in infrastructure and developed assets during the period “to accelerate growth and investments in sustainable infrastructure assets and environments across the Gulf and internationally, an area of significant opportunity", Mr Al Hajeri said.

GFH has an investment portfolio that spans the Middle East, the US, the UK and Asia in various sectors, including health care, education and logistics.

Last month, it acquired a student housing portfolio in the US in partnership with its Atlanta-based subsidiary, Student Quarters, in a deal valued at $300m.

GFH’s UK unit also tied up with the property arm of London-listed ICG to buy logistics assets in Spain.

The joint venture will target €400 million ($409m) “index-linked long income assets” through direct sale and leaseback opportunities or secondary acquisitions over the next 18 months in Spain.

The company's first-half profit grew about 14 per cent to $42.18m as investment banking income rose 30 per cent to $45m and income from co-investments surged more than threefold to $15.8m.

The investment bank is also listed in Bahrain, Dubai and Kuwait.

Updated: August 11, 2022, 7:35 AM