Bahrain's GFH Financial Group eyes more real estate, logistics, healthcare deals

GFH has managed to grow its portfolio in key markets, including the GCC region, the UK and the U.S.

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. Skyline with Bahrain World Trade Center in Manama, Bahrain.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Skyline with Bahrain World Trade Center in Manama, Bahrain.

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Bahrain-based GFH Financial Group will scale up business in other markets, following a robust performance during the first quarter of the year. 

Its deal pipeline includes more transactions in the property sector, as well as logistics and healthcare. 

“Currently, we are more looking at real estate in the United States, multi-family, student housing. These are the transactions that we’re looking at. Logistics is another domain that we’re looking at. In terms of private equity, we’re looking at healthcare,” said Suryanarayanan Hariharan, GFH’s chief financial officer. 

GFH reported a net profit attributable to shareholders of $16.1 million for the first three months of 2021, up by 216 percent from $5.08 million a year earlier. The company also saw its assets jump by 10.8 percent to $7 billion during the same period. 

Investments 

Last February, the company announced the acquisition of a logistics facility in Chicago, Illinois, which has been rented out to a blue-chip tenant, Michelin North America. The deal was valued at more than $135 million.  

Earlier, it made further investments in real estate and retail with the acquisition of a majority stake in UK asset manager Roebuck and 80 percent of Bahrain’s Hidd Mall.

While its assets and net profit have substantially increased, the company’s equity saw a marginal gain in equity as of March 31, 2021 on the back of a decline in “fair value movement”. 

“Despite the profit, there’s also a fair value movement of our treasury portfolio, which is captured on the equity, and for Q1 2021, there was a drop in the fair value movement, and that touched on the equity for the group,” Hariharan explained. 

He noted that GFH has managed to grow its portfolio in key markets, including the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, the UK and the US. Building on the momentum, Hariharan said, the company will focus on accelerating its growth and enhancing value “in the periods ahead”. 

“We continue our focus to grow our footprint through increasing the productivity of existing businesses, as well as expanding into new areas,” he said. 

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria) 

Cleofe.maceda@refinitiv.com 

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© ZAWYA 2021


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