• The Sukuk issue, which is GFH's first, to be listed on the London Stock Exchange
• Dresdner Kleinwort & HSBC will act as Joint Arrangers, Lead Managers and Book Runners for 5 year GFH Sukuk
• Global road show, covering the Middle East, Europe and Asia, kicked off with first event in Bahrain on 26 June 2007
Manama, Bahrain/ 27 June 2007: Gulf Finance House (GFH) today announced that its US$ 1 billion medium term sharia’a compliant Sukuk issuance programme (EMTN) has been assigned an investment grade credit rating (BBB-) preliminary rating by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services. The rating is in line with GFH's corporate rating given by Standard and Poor’s, and was one of the first given to an Islamic Investment Bank in the world.
The Sukuk issue, which has a tenure of five years and is being jointly arranged by Dresdner Kleinwort and HSBC, is GFH’s first Sukuk issue. The launch of the Sukuk closely follows the Bank's recent announcement of the offer price range (US$ 2.50 – US$ 3.00 per share) of its Global Depository Issue as part of its plans to list on the London Stock Exchange. The Sukuk issue is in line with GFH's business strategy unveiled last quarter to use its balance sheet more effectively in order to generate better returns to its shareholders.
Commenting on the Sukuk, Mr. Esam Janahi, Chief Executive Officer & Board Member of GFH, said: “Buoyed by continued excellent financial performance, including a 27 per cent rise in net profit in the first quarter of 2007, GFH has been exploring several short and medium term options for diversifying its funding base to optimally support its significant expansion plans, as was outlined in its recently unveiled mid-term growth strategy. This US$ 1 billion Sukuk programme is one such initiative that will help GFH’s expansion plans. GFH plans to make a dual listing of the Sukuk in Bahrain.”
Mr. Peter Panayiotou, Deputy CEO of GFH, commented: "The Sukuk will largely finance the Bank's strategic investment portfolio, comprising its 70% state in Khaleeji Commercial Bank in Bahrain and its 15% stake in QINVEST, Qatar's first Islamic investment bank."
The proposed Sukuk issue will be offered outside the United States of America and is intended to be listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Dresdner Kleinwort and HSBC along with GFH are coordinating a road show across the Middle East, Asia and Europe to highlight the launch of this Sukuk. The road show for the transaction, which commenced in Bahrain on 26 June 2007 will run for a week and conclude in Singapore on 3 July 2007.
GFH’s maiden Sukuk issue follows a US$ 300 million three year standby commodity Murabaha Financing for the Bank with Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich and WestLB.
Highlights - GFH US$ 1 billion Sukuk Programme
Facility Type Medium term Islamic Sukuk
Facility Amount Benchmark
Joint arrangers, Joint Lead Managers, Book runners Dresdner Kleinwort; HSBC Bank Middle East (HSBC)
Sharia’a compliance The structure of the Facility has been approved by the internal Sharia’a advisors of GFH and the HSBC Amanah Sharia'a Committee
Rating Preliminary rating of BBB- by S&P’s
Note to the Editor
About Gulf Finance House
Established on 16 October 1999 in the Kingdom of Bahrain as an Islamic investment bank, Gulf Finance House (GFH) has an authorized capital of US$ 300 million and had a paid up capital of US$ 150 million, which was increased to US$ 212 million in March 2006. This was followed by the listing of GFH’s shares on the Dubai Financial Market in May 2006. The bank has been listed on the Bahrain and Kuwait stock exchanges since 2004. At the cutting edge of the rapidly expanding international Islamic banking industry, the Bank’s commitment is to the Islamic Sharia’a philosophy of wealth management, and this shapes the structure and direction of its investment products. GFH is also one of the first Islamic investment banks in the world to announce a Global Depository Issue (GDR) and receive an investment grade credit rating (BBB-) by Standard & Poor.
Since its inception, GFH has successfully launched projects and investments with an aggregate final value exceeding US$10 billion. This was indeed a significant feat in a short period of time that was made possible by the participation of a broad base of investors from across the GCC. GFH was one of the first GCC banks to focus on private equity investments in companies based in the GCC and other MENA countries. These companies include a pioneering aluminum extruder in the GCC, a company specializing in Islamic finance, and a fund created to invest in GCC and MENA technology companies.
In addition, GFH either directly launched or is significantly participating in several innovative development infrastructure projects that include Bahrain Financial Harbour and Al Areen Development in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Legends in Dubailand in the United Arab Emirates, Royal Metropolis in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Mousaed Economic City in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Gateway to Morocco in the Kingdom of Morocco, Energy City Qatar in Doha and the transportation infrastructure development project in the Arab Republic of Egypt. Recently, GFH, in association with Gulf Energy, launched India’s first integrated energy business district – Energy City India.
In addition to past awards and recognition, in 2006 alone the Bank has won numerous local and international awards culminating in “Best Investment Bank 2006” awarded by Banker Middle East, the Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Makhtoum Award for “Global Contribution in Islamic Private Equity/Venture Capital 2006” at the International Islamic Finance Forum and the ‘Excellence in Islamic Banking and Finance: Islamic Bank of the Year’ award by the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI).
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