Kuwait’s Global Swings To A Profit In Q1 As Fees Grow

The firm saw a rise in fees from its asset management, investment banking and brokerage businesses.

Global Investment House, the Kuwaiti firm which completed a second debt restructuring last year, swung to a first-quarter net profit as fees from its asset management, investment banking and brokerage businesses grew.

Global, which counts the governments of Kuwait and Dubai as shareholders, said its net profit in the three months to March 31 was KD3.1 million ($11 million). This compares with a loss of KD3.9 million in the prior-year period.

Global said its total quarterly revenue rose 86 per cent to KD6.1 million. Fee-based revenue, which includes asset management, investment banking and brokerage, increased by 30 per cent to KD3.4 million, according to a filing on Bahrain’s stock exchange.

“We are delighted to have returned on a path of profitability after achieving a sustainable solution to our capital structure during 2013,” chief executive Maha al-Ghunaim said in the statement.

The company said last year it had completed a $1.7 billion restructuring plan, the second since the global financial crisis.

Global was one of several Kuwaiti investment firms hit badly by the crisis, having used short-term debt to invest heavily in local real estate and stocks whose values fell sharply. Shares in the company have been delisted from Kuwait.

Global posted annual losses for four straight years from 2009 to 2012, but made a profit of KD1.9 million last year.