Bahrain's GFH Financial set to acquire more properties in UK, Europe this year

Firm made new investments worth over $208mln last year

  
A traffic light is seen surrounded by skyscrapers in the City of London financial district, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in London, Britain June 30, 2020.

A traffic light is seen surrounded by skyscrapers in the City of London financial district, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in London, Britain June 30, 2020.

REUTERS/Toby Melville

Bahrain’s Islamic investment bank GFH Financial Group is looking to acquire more properties in the United Kingdom and other countries in Europe this year, its top executive said.

The company, whose net profit for the full year 2020 declined by 31.7 percent to $45.1 million, made more than $208 million of new investments during the past 12 months.

“Among these transactions was the acquisition of a leading UK real estate asset manager, giving us an edge as we go forward in identifying and acquiring further compelling and income-generating real estate assets in the UK and Europe,” said Hisham Alrayes, chief executive officer (CEO) of GFH.

“The investments we have made in 2020 have proven highly attractive and sought after by our regional investors, who have exhibited strong appetite for GFH’s products and great confidence in the unique deals we were able to deliver even under considerable market strain,”Alrayes said in statement posted by the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) on Tuesday.

Dividend

The company’s board has recommended the distribution of dividend worth $42 million, at 4.6 percent on par value. Total income for 2020 reached $323.39 million, up by 0.6 percent from $321.61 million in 2019.

The Group’s total assets and fund under management also increased from $10 billion in 2019 to more than $12 billion in 2020, posting a year-on-year increase of 20 percent.

While net profit for the full year declined, the company reported a huge jump in net profit for the fourth quarter of 2020, which hit $21.93 million, up by 1362 percent compared with $1.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2019.

“2020, despite its exceptional challenges and the unprecedented global turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, has helped GFH test and confirm the strength and resilience of the Group, our strategy and business model,” said Jassim Alseddiqi, chairman of GFH.

“We remain pleased with our overall performance and ongoing diversification, which has enabled the Group not simply to weather this storm but to continue to make strides across the business and deliver another solid dividend for our shareholders even in the toughest of years,” Alseddiqi said.

Last December, the company announced it had acquired last-mile warehouses in Spain for $77 million. The properties are leased on a long-term basis to Amazon Road Transport, a subsidiary of e-commerce giant Amazon.

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)

Cleofe.maceda@refinitiv.com

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