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GFH is optimistic despite reporting operating loss.

Gulf Finance House (GFH) has announced that it has made a net loss of $728 million in 2009, of which $656 million were non-cash provisions, compared to a profit of $292 million in 2008.

This represents a decrease of 350 per cent from the previous year. Operating loss in the fourth quarter of 2009 amounted to $607 million compared to $11 million in the previous year. Total non-cash provisions during the fourth quarter amounted to $575 million.

GFH chairman Dr Esam Janahi, right, said: "While 2009 proved challenging, it is important to view our results in the context of what prudently managed banks must do in tough economic times.

"We have closely reviewed all of our assets, made provisions where appropriate and have also begun to dispose of those which are non-core.

"We have asked management to review our cost base and also to ensure that we have a strategy to grow revenues.

"It is my strong view that as we achieve these objectives GFH will return to profitability and I am personally focused on this objective."

Acting CEO Ted Pretty, right, added: "2009 was a year which presented unprecedented challenges to banks in both the global and GCC markets. All institutions have been impacted by declining asset values and by the tightness in liquidity.

"However, our underlying operating results improved with GFH recording a slightly lower loss in Q4 but a bigger improvement is expected in Q1 2010 and each following quarter. We successfully refinanced $100m with the WestLB syndicate after paying down $200m when due on February 10."

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Publication:Gulf Weekly
Date:Feb 21, 2010
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