Sunday 17, December 2017 by Jessica Combes

Global concludes exit from Asian Finance Bank Malaysia


Global Investment House (Global), a regional asset management and investment banking firm headquartered in Kuwait, with offices in major capital markets in the MENA region, has announced that its alternative asset management arm, Global Capital Management (GCM), has successfully signed the share purchase agreement for the sale of stake in Asian Finance Bank Berhad (AFB) owned by Global MENA Financial Assets Limited (GMFA), an investment fund managed by GCM.

AFB has successfully positioned itself as a boutique corporate bank in the Malaysian market. At the beginning of 2013, the management team of GCM along with Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) and other shareholders implemented a restructuring programme of AFB operations and managed to return the bank to profitability.

"We are excited to sign this exit and we look forward to providing our investors with liquidity in such challenging geopolitical and economic environment. With an implied price to book value that exceeds the banking sector in Malaysia, we cannot be prouder of this achievement and we are confident of replicating this success story with the other portfolio companies which we manage and operate in this and other sectors across the MENA region and Turkey,” said Sulaiman Mohammed Al Rubaie, Deputy CEO of Global Investment House and Managing Partner of GCM.

This programme focused on strengthening and growing the core business of AFB by optimising the balance sheet position, enhancing the corporate governance, implementing adequate ERP and risk management systems and organisational rightsizing.

"Given the increased competition in the banking space, consolidation was inevitable and given that we positioned AFB to be a niche corporate bank with efficient capital, we were able to well position AFB for merger with a strategic buyer. Our preference was for a local strategic buyer and Malaysian Building Society Berhard (MBSB) be fitted the criteria. Merger is strategic for the two institutions, depositors, employees and the stability of the banking sector. The acquisition gives the Purchaser an opportunity to leverage on banking licence held by AFB and offer full-fledged Islamic banking services in Malaysia," said Zakir Rizvi, Partner at GCM and Director on the Board of AFB.

Al Rubaie concluded by thanking his Majesty Sultan Muhammad V, the Malaysian Government and Bank Negara Malaysia for its liberal legislation, guidance and support all along. He also thanked MBSB, Qatar Islamic Bank, RUSD Investment Bank and Tadhamon International Islamic Bank for their assistance and cooperation.

The private equity team at Global has completed 41 exits, since inception, 25 out of which were since 2010, which is the highest among all private equity firms in the region, and has distributed around $580 million since inception.


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