GFH announces the appointment of executive Chairman and new capital program



Gulf Finance House B.S.C. (GFH) today announced the appointment of Esam Janahi as Executive Chairman and the launch of a new capital program.

Following the board meeting held on August 15, 2010 GFH requested its shares be suspended pending seeking first stage regulatory approvals to proceed and also seeking to retain an internationally recognized adviser. GFH is pleased to advise that it has today requested that the trading suspensions be lifted as GFH has received the preliminary approvals and it has appointed Deutsche Bank as its restructuring advisor . The Board of GFH has resolved to appoint Esam Janahi as Executive Chairman of GFH to lead the next stage of recovery and the return to growth of the Bank.

Mr. Ted Pretty, Group CEO, said, “I am delighted to advise that the Board has taken the step of asking Esam to lead the Bank as Executive Chairman during the next phase of its growth. As the founder of the Bank and the leader of many initiatives that have delivered considerable value to shareholders and investors, he is the right person to reenergize GFH and seek to grow through securing new initiatives.”

Mr. Pretty added, “GFH recently announced its first half results for 2010 and it is clear that the business is on track in its plans to re-emerge as one of the leading Islamic banks in the region. In late 2009 and in the first half of 2010 we have taken the hard decisions to clean up our balance sheet, re-schedule our long term debt and develop a leaner operating model. We now need to aggressively pursue new business in new markets and Esam has an enviable track record in leading such initiatives. Our losses for the balance of 2010 will now be modest and 2011 is the year we expect to show real progress and success. ”

Commenting on the occasion, Mr. Esam Janahi Chairman of GFH said, “I am honored to be asked to assume an Executive role within GFH once again. The market is beginning to recover and now is the time to seek new opportunities. I intend to work closely with our Group CEO, Ted Pretty, to ensure that GFH enjoys the right mix of innovation, entrepreneurialism, strong management and governance.”

The Board of GFH has also resolved, subject to relevant regulatory and shareholder approvals, to seek a further re-capitalization of GFH by way of issuing equity linked convertible murabahas or similar instruments to raise up to US$300m. Such money will be used solely for acquisitions and growth initiatives. Further details will be made available to the market shortly.

Chairman of Gulf finance House Mr. Esam Janahi said, “The details of the capital program will be announced soon but it will focus on securing new and existing investors who have an appetite for growth. Subject to shareholder approval at an EGM which we intend to hold in October 2010 we expect to offer investors the opportunity to achieve very good returns coupled with strong assurances and conditions that these funds will be used for growth initiatives and acquisitions. As I believe in GFH and the opportunity it has to take advantage of the market as its recovers I intend, subject to shareholder approval, to personally support the capital raising. Confidence and commitment is key to our future success.”

Group CEO Mr. Ted Pretty added, “Esam’s commitment to the business is clear. We are on track with our recovery plan and this re-capitalization will enable us to pursue new growth initiatives and acquisitions. Whilst some other banks will spend 2011 and 2012 continuing to fix their balance sheets and reducing their costs, tasks which we have already accomplished, we will now be far more aggressive in seeking growth again.”

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