The Arab Investment Company (TAIC) has announced lower profits for 1994 because of the poor performance of its traded securities, but says its overall position has been strengthened by an increase in paid-up capital and a rise in the bank’s assets. Profits last year were $2.3 million, down 15 per cent on 1993.

The Riyadh-based firm increased paid-up capital by $9 million to $300 million last year, by the transfer of retained earnings, while assets rose by 9 per cent to $931 million. Loans accounted for 37 per cent of assets, and equity participation in projects throughout the Arab world accounted for 9 per cent.

By the end of 1994, TAIC had invested in 33 projects covering including industrial, agricultural and service sector projects across 12 Arab countries. TAIC expanded its range of investments to include a stake in Al-Ahsa Medical Services Company in Saudi Arabia.

TAIC also expanded the operations of its offshore banking unit in Bahrain last year with the addition of an Islamic banking service. The banking arm concentrates on investing surplus funds deposited by Arab governments. TAIC reported a 14 per cent increase in deposits to $551 million in 1994.

The TAIC shareholders are 15 Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE and Iraq, which each hold more than 10 per cent in the company. TAIC was founded in 1974.