QFB is pushing ahead with its future expansion plans
September 19 2016 11:31 PM
From right: Asali, Makkawi and Assaad: Expanding into new geographies.

Qatar First Bank

Qatar First Bank (QFB), which has generated a healthy 36% returns to shareholders, is eyeing investments in business services, healthcare, education and real estate sectors while expanding into new geographies this year.
The bank – whose equity investments totalled QR1.73bn as of June 30, 2016 – will continue pushing ahead with its expansion and adopt an “opportunistic outlook” to source viable investment opportunities that will generate sound returns for its clients and shareholders, said Ziad Makkawi, chief executive of QFB, which was recently adjudged ‘Best Shariah Alternative Investment Platform’ for 2016.
The Alternative investments business segment at QFB primarily focuses on acquiring controlling or non-controlling interests, with board representation, in well managed companies and assets that have strong established market positions and growth potential.
“During 2016, we will continue to diversify our portfolio and focus on business services, healthcare, education and real estate sectors while expanding into new geographical markets regionally and internationally,” Samir Assaad, managing partner – Alternative Investments at QFB, said.
QFB’s current portfolio of alternative investments include healthcare, energy, consumer finance, real estate, industrial, retail, luxury jeweller, food & beverage; spread across a diversified geography.
Since its incorporation, the bank has closed several successful transactions across Qatar, Turkey, the UK, Africa and the Middle East and North Africa region with carrying value of total equity investments (including subsidiaries) of QR1.73bn as of June 30, 2016.
Over the years, QFB has successfully exited six investments, in addition to two partial exists, and generated healthy returns to shareholders with an average internal rate return of 36%, it said.
“QFB’s initial focus was driven by its legacy mandate to invest its capital by originating proprietary deals in private equity and real estate,” Ihab Asali, managing partner – Alternative Investments at QFB, said.
The private equity investments continued to grow in value and recorded QR13mn in dividends from portfolio companies in the first half of 2016.
QFB’s investment in Qatar’s Food Services Company continued to deliver good results with the company opening new stores across Qatar.
QFB also continued to support the London-based luxury jeweller David Morris in its expansion plans. A flagship store in Rue St Honore in Paris is scheduled to open later this year, along with a new dedicated boutique in Qatar’s Pearl in partnership with the bank’s local partners.
During the first half of the year, QFB announced the completion of its development in Leinster Square, London W2; its second real estate development in London after Westbourne House project completed during 2015.

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