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Tue 25 Aug 2020 09:37 AM

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Pandemic causes Bahrain's GFH H1 profits to slide by almost 58%

Profits fell from $48.43m last year to $20.39m as a result of Covid-19 and slower markets

Pandemic causes Bahrain's GFH H1 profits to slide by almost 58%

Jassim Alseddiqi, chairman of GFH Financial Group in Bahrain

GFH Financial Group in Bahrain has revealed a 57.9 percent decrease in net profits for the first six months of the year, which has been attributed to the economic impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic and slower markets.

In a statement, the company reported net profits of $20.39 million for H1 2020, compared to $48.43m for the same period last year, with the twin shocks of coronavirus and market pressures affecting the group’s investment banking, commercial banking, real estate and treasury business lines.

Total income for the first six months of the year was $146.53m versus $163.55m for the 2019 period, a decrease of 10.4 percent.

Total expenses for the period were $126.14m against $114.65m for the first six months of 2019, an increase of ten percent, due to costs associated with the issuance of the group’s Sukuks during the first half of the year.

Jassim Alseddiqi, chairman of GFH, said: “For the period, the group successfully placed more than $120m in investments with clients, issued Sukuk to regional and international investors and had its ratings reaffirmed by Fitch.

“Building on our strong momentum and liquidity, the remainder of 2020 will see the group focus on continued value creation through further growth and diversification of our operations and investment portfolios.”

Total assets of the group were $6.13 billion at 30 June 2020 compared with $5.95bn at the end of December 2019, an increase of 3.1 percent.

Hisham Alrayes, CEO of GFH, added: “While market conditions remain challenging, we see opportunities to undertake promising investments and to restructure businesses to deliver strong returns and value to our investors and shareholders. This includes continuing our focus on investing in defensive sectors such as education, healthcare, technology and other income generating assets.”

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