Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) has reported an 86 per cent increase in profits in 1995 to $116 million, close to its record performance in 1993 when it reported net income of $128 million. The Kuwaitbased institution says the rise was due to the bank’s new strategy of diversifying its portfolio of risks, and benefited from the recovery in the international securities market.

Assets rose 11 per cent to end 1995 at $10,245 million. The equity investment portfolio doubled in the year to $150 million. The trading securities portfolio was reduced to $450 million in the year, from $565 million at the end of 1994. However, favourable conditions in the international bond and equities market ensured that earnings benefited as GIC divested itself of securities.

The group, which wholly owns Bahrainbased Gulf International Bank, has increased its lending activity, particularly in mediumterm project financing. Total loans and advances rose by 5 per cent to about $2,350 million in 1995.

Fee activities have included advising Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company in Bahrain on its $110 million expansion plans and Saudi Consolidated Electric Company for the Eastern Region (Sceco-East) on its Ghazlan power project, which will include a syndication worth about $500 million.

Full results will be published after the annual general meeting later in the year. GIC is owned by the six states of the GCC.