Ziad Makkawi and Ihab Asali
QFB sells partial stake in healthcare service provider
DOHA, March 7, 2017
Qatar First Bank (QFB), a leading Shari’ah compliant bank based in Qatar, has sold a partial stake in one of the most successful leading healthcare platforms in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Kuwait.
Commenting on the transaction, QFB’s CEO Ziad Makkawi said: “QFB’s successful realisation of its investment shows the bank’s capability in private equity and its ability to profitably exit investments in a difficult economic environment”.
Ihab Asali, managing partner - alternative investments at QFB, said: “This has been a very good investment for the bank, and we still hold shares in the group to benefit from future upside. We are delighted to have contributed to their continuing success, which surely strengthened their expansion plans and capabilities in providing global reach and best practices within the healthcare industry”.
QFB sold 44 per cent of its shares in this investment generating more than 2x cash on cash returns on the exited stake.
A spokesperson on behalf of the group said: “QFB has been a great partner for our group and backed us in building the foundations for our next phase of growth across the GCC and selected cities in South East Asia. We are delighted to continue having QFB as shareholders and we look forward for further successes.”
During 2016, the global investment market continued to go through major challenges. This resulted in a downward revision of the valuations of some of the bank’s investments across several markets. Specifically, QFB’s private equity portfolio, which had consistently generated significant returns over the last six years, has been negatively impacted by country-specific events in both Turkey and the UK.
Asali added: “Despite the downward revision in 2016, the current valuation for both of our investments in Turkey, Memorial Healthcare Group and English Home, is still 47 per cent higher than their acquisition price; both companies continue to grow in sales and profitability and occupy leading positions in their respective industries.”
The decrease in the valuation of QFB’s Turkish investments reflects the effect of the macroeconomic and extraordinary factors that the country has faced during 2016. The main impact came from the depreciation of the Turkish Lira against the US dollar and the decrease in number of international visitors which affected the healthcare and retail sectors.
On the other hand, the bank’s investments in the UK were also affected by the significant depreciation of the pound sterling against the US dollar and the weakening of the real estate sector, principally as a result of the Brexit referendum, he said. - TradeArabia News Service