Bahrain’s Gulf Finance House (GFH), an Islamic investment bank, says it is making steady progress with its restructuring.
After making a loss of $728m in 2009, the bank says it is successfully deleveraging its balance sheet and working on improving its liquidity by selling non-core assets.
“We’re continuing to work hard at delivering our recovery plan, which will see GFH move to its new strategy,” says Ted Pretty, chief executive officer, GFH. “We are working closely with our investors, shareholders, clients and advisers to make this happen. Our recovery plan has a clear strategy of moving GFH to its new business model by deleveraging our balance sheet, enhancing our liquidity by selling non-core assets, cutting costs and improving revenue. On all counts, we are making real progress and continue to do so.”
At the end of May, GFH sold its 50 per cent stake in Bahrain Financial Harbour (BFH) to Emar Bahrain, a local investment company, for a total consideration of $262m. Proceeds from the deal will be used to repay debt on the company.
In February, Pretty told MEED that he hoped to net about $420m from asset sales that it would use to repay debt on its balance sheet that totalled around $450m. It is currently in talks to sell off the Energy Cities projects in Qatar, Libya, India, and Kazakhstan.
The bank is also making efforts to reschedule its debts.
In February, it restructured a $300m loan, repaying $200m of it and delaying repayment on the remainder until August. In March, it repaid $20m of a $100m loan due that month and promised to repay $20m every six months for the next two years.
GFH has cut operational costs by 45 per cent and seen revenues grow to $18.5m in the first quarter of this year.