Dubai’s Shuaa Capital is looking to pick up a controlling stake in Kuwait-headquartered Global Investment House (GIH) “in the coming year”, a key official from the firm told local newspaper The National.
It was in October that Shuaa Capital had first revealed that it was keen on a deal with a Kuwaiti financial services firm.
According to Fawad Khan, the general manager, is currently in talks with the shareholders of GIH. Khan, however, did not specify the exact size of the shareholding Shuaa seeks in the company.
The transaction is still subject to a commercial agreement between the parties and regulatory approvals, he said.
Shuaa was the top investment bank in the Gulf region before the 2008 financial crisis.
The firm has said that it intends to gain scale through acquisitions and expand its footprint within the region.
For a while, it was also keen on a possible merger with the Bahrain-based shariah-compliant GFH Financial Group.
But these talks “were off the table,” Khan said.
“We are not talking to them at the moment. There is no immediate plan to recommence these discussions,” he said. “Instead we are looking at other opportunities for growth. We have disclosed our interest in Kuwait-based Global Investment House and believe this to be a better fit with our own business [than GFH].”
Talks are in the preliminary stages and are based on perceived synergies between the two firms, he added.
GIH is a regional asset management and investment banking firm with offices across the Middle East and North African region.
Last month, the company said its nine-month 2017 net profit more than doubled year-on-year, to 3.5 million Kuwaiti dinars ($11.5 million). Total revenues stood at 12.1m dinars for the same period.
Shuaa’s net profit for the three months ending September 30 climbed to Dhs23 million, from a net loss of Dhs35.3 million, in the corresponding period last year.