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Al Rayan Investment plans three funds

28/07/2010 09:06:29 AM GMT 

28 July 2010
DOHA: Al Rayan Investment LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Masraf Al Rayan (MAR) is to launch three funds focusing on both equities and debts soon, Al Rayan Investment Director for Institutional Sales and Business Development, Abdulaziz Al Muftah told reporters here yesterday.

"We are working on structuring these funds and we will declare those very soon, perhaps within two months," Al Muftah said, but would not disclose the size as they are still in an early stage of structuring.

"There will be an equity portion and a debt portion," he said adding that the funds will be geographically oriented as criteria to segregate the different funds given their legal complexity since each country has its own taxation regime, rules and regulations.

The funds will target markets in Qatar and beyond. "We are looking at the GCC as well as Libya, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore," Al Muftah said. "The Al Rayan Investment strategy is to invest in Qatar, the GCC and South East Asia as well as Libya."

He added that within two to three months Al Rayan Investment will launch a road show to market the funds. "We have appointed so far all the required advisors and we are working on structuring of the funds and I hope that within two to three months, we will be going to the road show and advertising the funds," he said.

Early this year, Masraf Al Rayan launched a $1bn GCC Fund, which were to be invested in Gulf listed equities as well as fixed-income and money-market instruments. Masraf Al Rayan had appointed Al Rayan Investment as fund manager of the 'Al Rayan GCC Fund' with a mandate to manage up to $1.1bn.

MAR, Qatar's fourth-biggest lender by market value said first half profit hit QR605m compared to QR389m as of June last year, showing a 55.5 percent growth.

"The half yearly profits similar to last year were derived from the core banking activities. For the last two years we have been concentrating on our banking activities which increased tremendously and at the same time this shows that our customer base as well as our market and geographic distribution, we have expanded," said Mohamed A Salam Mursal, MAR's General Manager for Financial Controls.

Unveiling details of the bank's balance sheet and financial performance during the first half of 2010, Mursal said total assets increased by 28.6 percent to QR 29.07bn, while financing activities increased by 23.8 percent to QR 20.90bn; customers' deposits increased by 30.5 percent to QR 22bn and shareholders' equity increased by 19.7 percent to QR 6.5bn.

The bank's earnings per share increased by 55.8 percent in the first half of this year to QR0.81 compared to QR0.52 in the corresponding period last year, while return on assets rose by 21.7 percent to 4.16 percent compared to 3.42 percent in the first half of 2009.

Also speaking at the event, MAR's Chief Operating Officer, Jamal Darwiche said the bank has been able to achieve financial and growth objectives in spite of the challenging economic climate across the region, thanks to the policies adopted by its Board which underscores MAR's ability to grow and develop in different circumstances.

"These achievements will also continue in the second half of this year," he said. He added that as part of its expansion plans, MAR opened three new BRanches, one each at The Mall on D-Ring Road, Salwa Road and C-Ring Road, BRinging the total number of BRanches to eight.

Two more BRanches will be opening soon in Wathnan Mall at Muaither and Al Wakra besides the number of ATMs which have been increased to 27 around the country, he said. Meanwhile, early this year MAR signed a placement contract with Gulf BRidge International (GBI), which is installing the longest sub-sea communications cable in the Gulf and North East Africa connected through Italy. Under the contract, Al Rayan Investment LLC is providing financial advisory and placement agency services to GBI.

By Nasser Al Harthy

© The peninsula 2010
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