May 6, 2018 / 7:13 AM / a year ago

Bahrain's GFH Financial hires GIB to seek Saudi listing

DUBAI, May 6 (Reuters) - Bahrain-based investment firm GFH Financial Group has hired Gulf International Bank to help it seek a cross-listing on Saudi Arabia’s stock market, it said on Sunday.

GFH disclosed plans last year to seek a listing on Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange (Tadawul) as part of a strategy to participate in Saudi Arabia’s privatisation programme in sectors such as education and healthcare.

GFH said in a statement on Sunday that the move was subject to the approvals of the Bahrain central bank and Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority.

The statement also said the company aimed to raise its assets under management through organic and non-organic growth to reach $30 billion by the end of 2020. The company has $6.2 billion of assets under management, according to its website.

Last week, GFH said it had signed a deal to acquire an 85 percent stake in The Entertainer, a Dubai-based hospitality discount app. The app, which has annual turnover of 130 million dirhams ($35.4 million), would bring returns of more than 20 percent per annum over the investment period of five years, GFH said on May 1.

The stake was purchased from MVI (MENA Venture Investments) and The Abraaj Group, according to MarketLine.

GFH also said on Sunday it had received an offer to sell all its real estate portfolio. The offer was under study and due diligence and subject to GFH’s board and regulatory approvals, it said. ($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirham) (Reporting by Tom Arnold; Editing by Adrian Croft)

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