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Chaired by Chairman Abdulla Fahad Ghorab Al Marri, Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB), Qatar’s first independent Shari’ah compliant bank regulated by Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority, held its board meeting in Dammam, the largest city in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) yesterday. Since its launch in 2009, QFIB has scheduled board meetings every year in a different GCC country with the aim of reaching out to its diversified base of shareholders.
Dammam is the most oil rich region in the world, and in close proximity to Dhahran that houses Saudi Aramco, one of the biggest oil companies in the world. Taking this opportunity QFIB Board and Senior Management visited the company to get a deeper insight into the company’s operations specifically in the production and exploration fields. QFIB takes a special interest in the oil and gas sector as it is the backbone of the GCC economies. To date, QFIB has invested over QAR 400m in this vibrant sector.
On the sidelines of the board meeting, QFIB Vice Chairman Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed Al Abdul Aziz Al Jomaih, a leading Saudi Businessman hosted a dinner. Government officials, owners of family businesses and CEO’s of leading institutions in Saudi, attended the dinner.
QFIB CEO Emad Mansour delivered a presentation about the Bank, providing an overview of the Bank’s main lines of business, sector and geographic focus, current portfolio of investments and future growth plans.
Commenting on the Saudi trip, QFIB Chairman Abdulla Ghorab Al Marri said, “Since inception, our strategy was to hold an annual board meeting in each of the GCC countries that are represented on our Board. As the largest GCC country, and one of the world’s biggest oil producing countries, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an important market for us. We thank Al Jomaih for hosting the dinner. Such a gathering provides a good platform to network and generate awareness about QFIB as well explore investment opportunities with leading businessmen. It is also a chance to reach out to our Saudi shareholders and provide an update about the Bank’s achievements.
Vice Chairman of QFIB, Al Jomaih added, “Our role as board members is to support the management in promoting the Bank’s expertise. Such events provide a great networking platform for our shareholders to gain a better understanding of the Bank’s activities and gain insight into potential investment prospects. The Saudi market has a very positive outlook, buoyed by optimistic projections for 2013. We hope this gathering was successful in bringing the Bank closer to potential investors.
According to Zawya, analysts expect the Saudi economy to grow between 4% – 4.4% in 2013 on the back of high oil prices and government spending. The Saudi government has set a record state budget values at US$ 218.7 billion to stimulate the non-hydrocarbon sector including construction, healthcare, education and financial services.
According to 2011 figures, Saudi Arabia is the world’s top oil producing country with a production of 11,150,000 barrels/day contributing around 12.9% of the world’s total oil production. It also has 20% of the world’s oil reserves standing at 265 billion barrels. This puts Saudi Arabia at top of the world’s oil exporting countries and the ability to play an important role in responding to market changes.