GFH raises capital

19 December 2003
Locally-based Islamic investment bank Gulf Finance House (GFH)is to more than double its capital through a rights issue and a private placement. Paid-in capital will increase to $135 million from $65 million.

Among the major new shareholders will be the UAE's General Pension & Social Security Authority, Kuwait Investment Company, Kuwait's Global Investment Houseand Al-Shayie Group, Al-Zamil Groupand Al-Babtain Group, all of Saudi Arabia.

The new funds will be used to launch commercial banking operations, for which GFH was granted a licence by the Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA - central bank) in mid-December. The commercial bank will specialise in real estate activities. GFH previously held only an investment banking licence. Major investments include the $1,000 million Bahrain Financial Harbour project and a 52 per cent stake in Bahrain Aluminium Extrusion Company (Balexco).

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