Dubai Islamic Bank's Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Al Hamli has resigned from the board of Gulf Finance House, the Bahraini investment bank said yesterday. Al Hamli, who held the position of a board member at GFH, has decided to focus on his duties at Dubai Islamic, according to a statement on the Dubai bourse website. GFH has been hard hit by the Gulf's economic crisis and struggled throughout 2010 to pay back the debt it took on during the Gulf property boom that ended in 2008. Its Kuwait listed shares have fallen 69 per cent in the past year, according to Reuters data.
Qatar's Barwa Bank, a unit of Barwa Real Estate Co, has completed a 1.7-billion Qatari riyal (Dh1.71 billion) rights issue to boost capital as it eyes growth, the Sharia-compliant lender said in a statement yesterday. The rights issue subscription that started on Friday was covered 113 per cent, Barwa said in the statement. The offering came following shareholder approval to increase the bank's capital, a move designed to enhance its position as a leading Sharia-compliant bank in Qatar, Barwa added. The bank, which intended to raise 1.7 billion riyals through the offering, said the overall value of shares subscribed reached 1.9 billion riyals, an over-subscription of 233 million riyals.
Bahrain's Arab Banking Corporation said yesterday it has appointed William Playle as chief executive officer of its London unit, ABC International Bank. Playle, who has been with the bank since May 2002 and was formerly deputy CEO, replaces Nofal Barbar effective from January 4, the bank said in a statement on the Bahrain bourse website. The bank also appointed Paul Jennings and Alexander Ashton as joint deputy CEOs of ABCIB. Last month, ABC appointed Saddek Omar Elkaber, the governor of the Central Bank of Libya, as its chairman. ABC, founded in 1980 and listed on the Bahrain Bourse, has the Central Bank of Libya and Kuwait Investment Authority as its major shareholders.
Saudi Arabia's Bank Albilad said yesterday its fourth-quarter net profit soared to 107 million Saudi riyals (Dh104 million) from 4.5 million riyals in the year earlier period mainly due to an increase in net income from investing and financing. Earnings per share for the full year came in at 1.10 riyals, compared with 0.31 riyal in the year-earlier period, the lender said in a statement posted on the Saudi bourse website. The total income from operations for the fourth quarter rose 41 per cent to 393 million riyals. The bank's assets totalled 27.7 billion riyals at the end of December, up from 21.1 billion riyals a year ago. Deposits stood at 23.04 billion riyals, a 36 per cent increase from the same period in 2010. Albilad didn't say whether it booked provisions in the three months to December.
The Saudi unit of Kuwait Finance House, an Islamic lender, made a 360-million Saudi riyal (Dh352 million) profit from the sale of a real estate project in the kingdom, the bank said in a regulatory filing yesterday. KFH sold the project for 1.5 billion riyals and the profit will be reflected in the bank's first quarter results, the statement added. The buyer was not identified. Saudi Kuwait Finance House, a wholly-owned subsidiary of KFH, was granted approval to operate by the Saudi Capital Markets Authority in Nov-ember 2008. At the same time, KFH also established a real estate company with a capital of 2.5 billion riyals to build housing units in the kingdom.
An Egyptian government commission approved the settlement of disputes with Dubai's Damac Properties Co and Al Futtaim Group, according to Fayza Aboulnaga, minister of planning and international cooperation. The initial agreement will be submitted for government approval soon, she told reporters in Cairo yesterday. The deal provides for the two companies to fund the difference between prices they had paid for land in contracts with the previous administration of ousted president Hosni Mubarak and the value deemed fair by the current authorities, she said. The Egyptian government is trying to settle disputes with companies over contracts signed with the Mubarak administration in out-of-court reconciliations.