Manama, Bahrain, Monday 18th May, 2009: Gulf Finance House (GFH), the leading Middle Eastern Islamic investment bank today announced its first quarter results of 2009.

The results come against the backdrop of a serious and continued downturn in the global economy that has left few sectors across the world unaffected. As an Islamic financial institution GFH was not exposed to the toxic asset classes that have undermined liquidity across the world, but the broader investment community have been impacted leading to extreme caution throughout the market and a reduced volume of transactions.

Total income for the first quarter is US$ 50 million, primarily due to the successful equity raising for our Energy City Libya initiative. In addition, GFH has made US$ 43 million provisions on proprietary assets – non client projects – which account for a significant proportion of this quarter’s results

Consequently, net loss for the first quarter after provisions is U$ 37.7 million.

GFH Chairman Esam Janahi commented on today’s announcement saying, “Our 1st quarter results should be seen in the context of the broader marketplace. Clearly the past three months have seen some of the toughest trading conditions faced by the financial sector in decades and we are required to adapt our business model to a changing environment.”

“To meet these challenges, we have begun this process by diversifying our business through the development of Private Equity, Asset Management and Venture Capital business lines with a focus on the more defensive sectors including agriculture. Already we are seeing early signs of recovery in the market and after a period of marked challenges, we are confident in our ability to adapt and prosper going forward.”

Mehran Jamsheer, Deputy-CEO of GFH added, “Clearly this has been an immensely challenging quarter. Added to this we have taken a very conservative approach in our financial results and have not booked income on any new project. Also we have made provisions on our investment portfolio, which relate to non-client projects. Now is the time to consolidate the tremendous progress GFH has made over the past decade. With liquid assets in excess of US$ 760 million, we’re well placed to refocus our efforts on the production of unique investment products that suit contemporary market conditions.”

“We are confident that a continued focus on some of the world’s fastest growing economies and further engagement with new geographies should result in exciting opportunities in the months ahead.”

About Gulf Finance House

Founded in 1999, Gulf Finance House has grown rapidly to become one of the most respected investment banks in the Middle East region in terms of the quality and innovation of its product offerings. Over a decade Gulf Finance House has successfully launched economic infrastructure development projects and investments with an aggregate end value exceeding US$30 billion and received numerous awards for its innovative approach to Islamic banking and finance. Its shares are actively traded on the London Stock Exchange (GDR), the Kuwait Stock Exchange, the Bahrain Stock Exchange and the Dubai Financial Market.

Reflecting its international reputation, Gulf Finance House has won numerous local and international awards, such as “Best Investment Bank” for three years in a row in 2005, 2006 and 2007, awarded by The Banker Middle East, “Bank of the Year 2006” awarded by the Arabian Business Magazine, “MENA Investment Bank of the Year 2008” by Acquisitions Monthly, and “Best Investment Bank 2008”, by Islamic Banking and Finance.

For further information please contact:

Ahmed Al Derazi
PR-Corporate Communications Department
Tel: +973 17538538 Ext 274
Email: aalderazi@gfh.com

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