DUBAI, Sept 4 Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House
(GFH) is looking to acquire stakes in asset management
and real estate firms and increase ownership in its portfolio
companies, it said in a statement on Tuesday.
The sharia-compliant investment house, heavily impacted by
the global debt crisis, is assessing various opportunities to
acquire new stakes and is also looking to increase the stake in
its group companies subject to regulatory approval, it said in a
regulatory filing in Dubai.
GFH did not provide any specific details on the firms it was
looking to acquire or the amount it was looking to commit.
The statement came in response to an interview given by the
Acting Chief Executive, Hisham Alrayes, to a Bahraini newspaper
and did not provide any further details on the transactions.
GFH is also in discussions with prospective partners to
launch a $50 million technology fund called Injazat 2 and is
still awaiting regulatory approval for its purchase of AdaBank
in Turkey, which was initially announced in 2011.
GFH has restructured a number of debt facilities since 2010
as the firm struggled with its debt burden in the aftermath of
the global financial crisis.
In July, GFH extended the repayment of $45 million of
sharia-compliant debt - part of a $100 million facility which
was initially restructured in March 2010.
This followed an agreement to extend a $110 million Islamic
bond, or sukuk, in May. The deal, also for six years, carried a
two-year grace period on repayments.
Alrayes, previously GFH's chief investment officer, was
named acting CEO in April, following the departure of Ted Pretty
(Reporting by David French; Editing by Dinesh Nair)