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News : Qatar First Investment Bank AGM hails a year full of achievements

QFIB announced that its Annual General Meeting has approved the Bank’s audited financial results for 2010, QFIB’s second full year of operation

Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) announced that its Annual General Meeting has approved the Bank’s audited financial results for 2010, QFIB’s second full year of operation. QFIB achieved a number of milestones that cement the Bank’s reputation as a solid and forward-thinking institution.

QFIB Chairman Abdulla bin Fahad bin Ghorab Al Marri presented an overview of the Bank’s activities and presented the Bank’s financial statements for 2010 which the Board had ratified in its meeting on Sunday 20th March, 2011 adding that QFIB achieved outstanding financial results for 2010. The Bank reported a total income of $171 million (QR 619 mn) and a net income of US$ 22.8 (QR 83mn). Which represents a substantial increase from the figures delivered in 2009. Total capital invested in 2010 reached $287 million(QR 1.45bn), an increase of nearly 30% on the 2009 figure of $186 million.

The Chairman also stated that for the first time since the launch of QFIB operations, the General Assembly has approved a distribution of a cash dividend of 5% of the nominal value of share capital to QFIB shareholders.

Commenting on the results QFIB Chairman, Abdulla bin Fahad bin Ghorab Al Marri stated, “In spite of the sluggish recovery of the global economy, we have managed to successfully complete our second year of operations. I am pleased to report that QFIB is making progress at a steady pace. Launching an independent investment bank amidst the global meltdown raised a few questions. However, we have demonstrated that adopting a prudent investment strategy, a structured approach along with innovation and dedication will deliver rewards.”

Al Marri continued, “Our net income for our first nine months of operation in 2009 was impacted by the global economic meltdown and, all the costs incurred with setting up a business and launching a new brand to market. During 2010 the Bank managed to achieve several milestones which lead to the massive increase in our net income.”

Major milestones for 2010

During 2010, the Bank continued to pursue its prudent investment strategy based on sector and geographic diversification. QFIB demonstrated its cross sector expertise by focusing on the healthcare sector which is considered a defensive sector given its resilience to economic downturn. Furthermore, the healthcare sector is experiencing rapid growth in the MENA region driven by population growth. The Bank closed two significant transactions in this prime sector.

QFIB’s first venture into healthcare was through acquiring an ownership stake in Astro SPV which seeks to exploit the extensive growth opportunities in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors in the UAE. Astro SPV first investment was in Al Noor Medical Company, a leading healthcare service provider in Abu Dhabi.

QFIB continued its geographical diversification by acquiring, in partnership with Argus Capital of the UK, a 40% stake in Memorial Health Group, a leading private Class A healthcare provider in Turkey operating seven hospitals with a capacity of 855 beds and two medical centers. Turkey is the largest Islamic country and has strong economic fundamentals.

To capitalize on the growing demand for shari’ah based asset management in the region, the Bank formed a strategic partnership with Gulfmena Alternative Investments Limited (GAIL) to establish a unique, ‘one-stop’ Shari’ah-compliant asset management company, the first of its kind in the region offering a comprehensive range of Islamic investment products and services.

QFIB successfully exited one of its investments in the real estate sector with sound returns.

A major highlight of 2010 was the Bank achieving the ISO 27001 certification for its IT department and data center which underlines the Bank’s commitment to establish an IT governance framework and world class infrastructure to support the growing needs of the business.

The Bank developed a unique in-house share exchange platform which will enable shareholders to exchange and sell shares with each other as well as third parties.

Internally, the Bank continued to invest in its human capital. The number of employees increased from 51 to 79 employees.

On the community front, the Bank demonstrated its commitment to educating and developing the youth in Qatar by joining the Injaz Qatar Company volunteer program. In recognition to role played by QFIB, Injaz appointed QFIB Chairman was to their executive board.

Al Marri concluded, “2010 was year full of challenges for QFIB but ones we managed to weather out well. We recognise that a lot remains to be done. The economic landscape in 2011 will be even more challenging given the recent political turbulences in the Middle East which will result in fundamental changes in the geo-political environment within the region. We are confident however, that this will bring a wave of potential opportunities which we can capitalize on. We are committed to continue providing our investors with well structured investment products and a world class service of an independent, experienced Islamic investment bank.”

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