Full-year 2000 results for TII

The International Investor (TII) has announced the Company's audited results for the year ended 31 December 2000.

Addressing shareholders at the Company's Annual General Meeting in Kuwait on 7 May, Adnan Al Bahar, Chairman and Managing Director said:

"I am pleased to report that 2000 was a most encouraging year for TII. Financially, our performance compares very favourably with the investment banking sector as a whole, while strategically, we substantially increased our investment in the development of TII's regional infrastructure.

“This is a significant achievement given the slowdown of most MENA economies and the cyclical low experienced by the region's capital markets during the year.”

TII recorded a net profit of KD 3.82 million (US$ 12.51 million) for 2000, compared with KD 5.13 million (US$ 16.87 million) for the previous year, while earnings per share were 23 fils (29 fils in 1999).

During the year, TII purchased 15.9 million treasury shares, representing 8.99 per cent of total issued shares, at a cost of KD 4.03 million (US$ 13.19 million). As a result, total shareholder equity decreased to KD 21.19 million (US$ 69.38 million) from KD 24.28 million (US$ 79.63 million) in 1999.

The Directors have recommended the payment of a cash dividend of 18 per cent (20 per cent in 1999).

“Establishing a permanent presence in all major regional markets is a key strategic objective for TII and during 2000, this policy of focused geographic expansion produced positive results," explained Adnan Al Bahar. "Operationally, we continued to expand the scope of our operations across all three business fronts”

TII's structured finance (investment banking) business achieved a greater regional transaction mix, with the majority of revenue coming from outside the Kuwait market for the first time.

“We consolidated our presence in key sectors such as TMT (telecommunications, media and technology) and petrochemicals, while also making a strong entry into the fast-growing e-related business sector. In addition, we supported the introduction of Islamic insurance (takaful) to the Kuwait market," said Al Bahar.

TII's advisory and distribution services also expanded during 2000, with a record number of new advisory and wholesale distribution agreements being signed with leading asset managers and financial institutions.

“In just a few years, by successfully anticipating the need for conventional institutions to outsource such specialist Islamic expertise, TII has established a position as the leading international provider of Islamic financial advisory services," Al Bahar noted.

Another positive achievement was the endorsement of TII's Al Deema Islamic Banking Services by a number of leading conventional commercial banks in the GCC. Al Deema's range of Islamic investment services was widened during the year to include a comprehensive package of innovative Islamic retail banking products for consumers throughout the region. TII expects to sign agreements with leading commercial banks in Bahrain, Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia during 2001.

TII's business portfolio now comprises three major areas of activity - Structured Finance, Advisory and Distribution Services, and Al Deema Islamic banking Services - on which the Company will concentrate its attention in the immediate future. This focus aims to enhance TII's position as a differentiated specialist operator, committed to delivering a unique range of innovative Islamic financial and investment solutions.

“Such a focus will help TII to weather the effects of short-term market fluctuations and to minimize their effect on our long-term strategy. This will enable TII to take advantage of the business opportunities offered by the growing deregularisation and liberalisation of regional economies, and the new role of the private sector," explained Al Bahar.

To support the expansion of TII's operations, the Company continued to invest in enhancing its human and technical resources, and in streamlining processes and procedures. New partners joined the Sharia, Legal and Compliance teams that form TII's Supervisory Group; new IT and communications systems were installed; and a new Operations Centre was formed to co-ordinate all back office activities.

“We are confident that these developments, together with our business achievements during 2000, will further strengthen TII's position as a leading investment bank in the MENA region," concluded Al Bahar.