Wed 23 Sep 2009 09:47 AM
Esam Janahi

Esam Janahi

Industry: Banking & Finance

Company: Gulf Finance House - Bahrain

Designation: Chairman

Country: Bahrain

Citizenship: Bahrain

Occupation: Chairman

Esam Janahi serves on the board of several different companies and is a regular speaker at the World Economic Forum. He has been named ‘Islamic Banker of the Year’ and a ‘Young Global Leader’, and been awarded an honorary doctorate from the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations.

But it is through his leadership of
Gulf Finance House

that Janahi has really made his mark. Since 1999, he has led flagship initiatives including the launch of energy cities in Qatar, Libya and Kazakhstan, a series of financial harbours in Bahrain and Tunisia, and the largest

concept to date, the $10bn Mumbai Economic Development Zone. In total,

has been involved in commercial infrastructure projects with an aggregate value of over $20bn.


has announced First Energy Bank, the world’s first Islamic investment bank offering tailored energy-based finance, while

’s venture capital arm has busied itself with unlocking the huge opportunities generated by the region’s construction boom. Companies HadeedMENA (steel), Cemena (cement) and Binaa (building materials) are set to become leading producers in their marketplaces, addressing both the demand and current shortfall in critical building materials seen across the MENA region.

And while it has not been a vintage year so far at

– second quarter losses meant the company has spent three successive quarters in the red – Janahi is confident that the good times will return. Speaking to
Arabian Business

earlier this year, he suggested that there would be a flurry of positive moves in the equity market before the end of 2009.

“The expectation is that the good mood returns in the middle of the fourth quarter of 2009. But when will the real thing happen? [It] will happen, I think, in the middle of 2010. And we must be careful not to miss the boat.”