GFH's Q3 profit rises on investment banking income

The company aims to grow its portfolio with new investments in GCC and the US

A general view shows the Bahraini capital, Manama, on February 10, 2016. - Five years after the popular uprising was harshly repressed, the Kingdom of Bahrain is locked in a political stalemate coupled with an economic crisis that underline the urgency of a compromise between the rulers and the opposition, according to experts. (Photo by MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH / AFP) / TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY TAIEB MAHJOUB
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GFH Financial Group, an investment bank based in Bahrain, reported a more than 1 per cent annual increase in third-quarter profit as investment banking income rose during the period amid higher deal activity.

Net profit attributable to the company's shareholders for the three months to the end of September climbed to about $24.3 million, GFH said in a filing on Tuesday to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares are traded.

Investment banking income for the period more than doubled to $75.7 million, with deal-related income surging more than 100 per cent to $70.6 million.

Treasury and investment income and revenue from financing also increased during the period growing the profit of the company. Total expenses also grew during the period.

“During the quarter, we grew income by double digits and further enhanced profitability,” Hisham Al Rayes, chief executive of GFH Financial Group said.

“Contributions were made largely in the third quarter from fees generated from our investment banking activities. We also took advantage of rising interest rates which contributed significantly to our investment income during the quarter.”

The company closed three new transactions during the quarter – the US Opportunistic Fund, Saudi Food Logistics Fund, and US Student Housing Fund and placed more than $361.1 million of investments relating to the Group’s regional and international funds with investors across the GCC.

Listed on Bahrain Bourse, Dubai Financial Market, ADX and Boursa Kuwait, GFH has assets worth more than $18 billion, with operations focused across the GCC, North Africa and India, along with investments in the US, Europe and the UK.

The company's nine-month profit attributable to shareholders grew 19 per cent annually to about $79 million, primarily driven by the higher investment banking income.

“We look to close the year with progress across each of our business lines and priority markets with an emphasis on further growth of our investment portfolios in the GCC and US,” he said.

Earlier this year, it acquired a majority stake in Big Sky Asset Management, a US-based real estate asset manager focused on the defensive healthcare segment.

GFH Financial's sustainable infrastructure platform Infracorp has also co-invested in Aurora Infrastructure, a monopoly electricity distribution network in Finland.

GFH aims to either cross-list on Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul stock exchange or directly list its subsidiary GFH Capital on the Middle East’s largest bourse, Mr Al Rayes told The National in an interview last month.

Updated: November 14, 2023, 7:50 AM