x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Gulf Finance House goes into the red

Gulf Finance House has been hurt by increased finance expenses and the impact of exchange rates.

Increased finance expenses hurt Gulf Finance House (GFH) as the Bahrain-based investment bank posted a second-quarter loss of US$11.23 million.

Losses through exchange rates also contributed to the company's red ink.

Over the first half of the year, the company reported a half-year net profit of $700,000.

The company has been struggling to rebound from the hit to its investments caused by the global financial downturn. It spent last year paying back debt it had accumulated during the downturn.

But the second-quarter loss was slimmer than the $40.2m loss the company posted in the same period last year.

"We have been working on several transactions since the beginning of the year with the determination to return to profitability," said Hisham Al Rayes, the chief investment officer at GFH.

"Projects were restructured to permit earlier exits, liabilities maturity dates have been extended and income models have been revised."

Last month G Capital, a unit of GFH based in Dubai, bought Adabank of Turkey for $75m.

The previous month, GFH's chairman and major shareholder, Esam Janahi, sold 7 million shares, valued at 527,800 Bahraini dinars, of the investment company to Al Ahlia Bahrain.

GFH shares were suspended last month because the company had not disclosed its financial reports for the first half of the year in time.

Last November, it took a 47 per cent stake in Khaleeji Commercial Bank, the retail bank based in Bahrain.