GFH Financial Group
Bahrain-based GFH diversified portfolio fast-tracked the fourth quarter gains. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Bahrain’s asset management company GFH (Gulf Finance House) saw net profit slip to $45.1 million for 2020, compared with $66.03 million a year ago.

Things could have got trickier if it were not for a robust fourth quarter showing, with net profit at $21.93 million ($1.5 million in 2019). That’s a 1,362 per cent year-on-year increase.

Now, the company will be hoping that this year will have more of the same. According to Jassim Alseddiqi, Chairman, “2020 - despite its exceptional challenges and the unprecedented global turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic - helped GFH to test and confirm the strength and resilience of the Group, our strategy and business model.

“While net profit for the period was impacted by disruptions to businesses and markets in the region and around the world, we are pleased to have maintained strong levels of income generation even reporting a moderate increase for the year.”

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During the fourth quarter, investment banking income included income from investment in Hidd Mall in Bahrain, and from its investment in two strategically located Amazon designated logistics warehouses in Spain.

The treasury portfolio also lent a hand, which “benefited from the continuing recovery in the global equity markets, and income from the reversal of liabilities resulting from a successful conclusion of litigation,” the company said in a statement.

Asset gains

Total assets and fund under management was up from $10 billion to over $12 billion in 2020, marking a year-on-year increase of 20 per cent and despite having a pandemic to deal with. This was primarily from the growth in the treasury portfolio along with "inorganic growth through acquisition".