Friday, February 23, 2007

Bumper payout

Shareholders of Bahrain-based Gulf International Bank (GIB) are to get a bumper payout of $127.8 million from last year's profits.The figure was approved as the bank ratified its consolidated accounts for last year at the 30th meeting of the general assembly yesterday.

GIB previously announced a record profit of $255.5m last year, up $52.5m or 26 per cent from 2005.

GIB chairman Shaikh Ibrahim bin Khalifa Al Khalifa said last year proved to be the most successful year in the bank's history.

"This is the third consecutive year in which the bank has reported a record profit," he said.

"Record financial results and sound strategic progress were supported by significant business achievements and organisational developments.

"The overall year-on-year advance is all the more impressive when viewed in relation to GIB's very conservative risk profile, and the increasingly competitive nature of the regional and international markets in which the bank operates.

"This clearly illustrates the soundness of the bank's merchant banking strategy focused primarily on the Gulf states, which has successfully contributed to a diversification of earnings and sustained growth and profitability."

Last year, he said, GIB continued to provide shareholders with enhanced returns, while maintaining favourable recognition from clients, counter parties, supervisory authorities, international credit rating agencies and market monitors.

Shaikh Ibrahim added an important achievement during the year was the upgrade in GIB's long term foreign currency rating from A- to A by Fitch Ratings, which reinforced the bank's status as one of the highest-rated financial institutions in the Middle East.

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