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QInvest announces 40% increase in revenue and return to profitability in 2013

QInvest, Qatar’s leading investment bank and one of the most prominent Islamic financial institutions globally, today unveiled its audited full year 2013 results. The Company reported a significant increase in revenue of 40%, a reduction in costs of nearly 30% and an increase of US$ 60 million in net profit. 2013 saw significant capital deployment across financing and Real Estate transactions. Balance sheet risk was significantly reduced with collection of outstanding receivables and reduction of foreign currency exposure.

H.E. Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al Thani, Chairman of QInvest, said: “2013 was a turning point for QInvest. Our full year results are evidence that our new strategy has successfully positioned QInvest to support Qatar and the wider region’s international investment plans as well as to act as the gateway for investors looking to access the region’s fast growing dynamic economy. We have a great leadership team in place which continues to be focused on creating shareholder value through long-term sustainable growth.”

Tamim Hamad Al-Kawari, Chief Executive Officer of QInvest, said: “Despite ongoing challenges in global markets throughout the year, we have delivered a strong set of results having repositioned the business to focus on the most lucrative areas. We successfully captured new and important mandates and solidified relationships with existing clients. During the period, our revised capital deployment initiative has effectively sourced and executed both compelling and secured investment opportunities that we are confident will perform well in the years to come.”

Al-Kawari added: “To help implement the new strategy, we have also made structural changes within the core team. We have appointed Michael Katounas, as Head of Investment Banking, and Duncan Walker as Chief Financial/Chief Operating Officer, and we have now a world class team which is in a strong position to drive further growth and create value for shareholders.”

Strategy update

QInvest’s strategy, which was announced in October 2013, streamlined the Company into three business lines: Investment Banking, Principle Investments and Asset Management and focussed on its core product and service offers.

Complementing the strategic restructuring, QInvest has been increasingly working with its largest shareholder, Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) and its subsidiaries, enabling it to benefit from its wider network and from access to its balance sheet.

Investment Banking
On the investment banking front, the business experienced significant activity across the entire Islamic financing spectrum, delivering some of the largest transactions globally including the Government of Turkey and Ooredoo sukuk. In total, QInvest advised on US$ 3.5 billion of sukuk transactions in 2013, representing 20% of global US$ sukuk issuance. Meanwhile, financing activity continues to grow providing stable recurring income as well as immediate returns. QInvest’s M&A and equity capital market practices continue to benefit from increased activity across the MENA family office and corporate space.

Principle Investments
The Principle Investments team executed a major shift in strategy last year, redirecting its efforts to investments that provide short term profitability and long term value creation within a manageable risk framework. The division’s Real Estate franchise, historically a key strength of the business, once again delivered impressive results. The private equity portfolio has stabilised and the Firm is looking at material value creation and monetisation initiatives across all investments. The sukuk book continues to generate returns from both yield and capital appreciation. QInvest will continue to invest within its carefully selected investment criteria across all these businesses.

Asset Management
Asset Management had its best year to date. The team added significant value through some of the best performing Sharia’a investment funds and products in their investment class, with returns of up to 30% net of fees coming from a range of investments focused on global developed markets. QInvest sees the QInvest Managed Account Platform (QMAP) as a unique open architecture platform that is already starting to deliver significant results for the Firm. Asset Management is a key growth area in 2014 and beyond.

QInvest was recognised by a number of international bodies for its achievements in 2013. These include:

· Global Finance awarded QInvest the “Best Islamic Fund Manager” at its World’s Best Islamic Financial Institutions 2013 awards.

· Euromoney recognised QInvest as the “Best Investment Bank in Qatar” for the year.

· Islamic Finance News awarded QInvest the “Best Sukuk Structuring House in Qatar” award at the 2013 Sukuk Summit and “Qatar Deal of the Year” for the Ooredoo US$1.2 billion sukuk.

· EMEA Finance Magazine named QInvest “Best regional investment bank” and “Best local investment bank” at its Middle East Banking Awards 2013.