Markaz: KD 3.44 million Profit for Third Quarter of 2006, Net Profit of 5 Fils / Share for the First

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Markaz: KD 3.44 million Profit for Third Quarter of 2006, Net Profit of 5 Fils / Share for the First 11 - Nov - 2006

Markaz reported its financial results for the third quarter of 2006. For the third quarter, Markaz made a profit of KD 3.44 million or 8 fils per share which reversed the losses from the end of the second quarter of this year into a profit of 5 fils per share for the First Nine Months of the year. Markaz’s results for the First Nine Months ending September 30, 2006, are a net profit of KD 1.978 million or 5 fils per share compared with a net profit of KD 28.204 million and 65 fils earning per share for the First Nine Months of 2005. “During the third quarter of this year, Markaz results were positive despite unrealized losses of KD 8.128 million which comes as a reflection of correction being witnessed in the local and GCC markets. Fees from Assets under management and investment banking activities amounted to a remarkable KD 8.429 million ,” said Mr. Diraar Alghanim, Chairman & Managing Director of Markaz. Markaz assets under management totalled KD 1.25 billion by the end of September 2006. Since the beginning of the year, asset management activities at Markaz remained strong with the launch of new investment funds. These include Markaz GCC Fund, a fund that invests in equities listed in GCC stock exchanges, Atlas Exchange Traded Fund Program, which invests in global exchange traded funds, as well as the restructuring of Atlas Diversified Investment Program into a mutual fund to make it scalable and more efficient. Markaz also acted as financial advisor and co-underwriter of the Kuwait Commercial Market Complex Company (KCMCC) sukuk. During the year, Markaz also successfully closed Markaz Energy fund for which it raised over KD 45 million. As for investment banking, Markaz has successfully accomplished the capital increase for National industries Building Materials Company (NICBM) through a rights issue where KD 40 million in additional equity was raised; Markaz was also the advisor for Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait to be listed on the KSE; listing happened on September 11th and the closing price on the first day was 630 fils. Since the beginning of June, Markaz is also acting as an agent in Kuwait for Dlala Brokerage Company – Qatar to receive sell orders for the listing of Rayyan Bank. Over 20,000 applications were received in a limited time span. As a first step toward regional expansion, Markaz has obtained a licence to open a branch in Qatar, Markaz intends to open its branch at the Qatar Financial Centre in the fourth quarter of 2006. In terms of international investments, private equity had a special year on the back of accelerated M&A especially in US, Europe and Emerging markets. This positive environment provided excellent exit opportunities for a number of Markaz investments. On the global quoted equities and alternative investments, Markaz portfolio enjoyed positive returns given factors like ending of interest rate cycle tightening and downward oil price movements. Alghanim added, “With the recent challenging developments of the markets and the wide range of investment solutions proposed by Markaz, the company is well positioned to reap the benefits of the recent upward trends. The fact that the investment strategy was maintained by Markaz investment managers throughout the market corrections gave comfort to investors that Markaz is an institution of transparency, consistency and trust.” Kuwait Financial Centre 'Markaz', with total assets under management of over KD 1.25 billion , as of end of September 2006, was established in 1974 has become one of the leading asset management and investment banking institutions in the Arabian Gulf Region. Markaz was listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) in 1997; and was recently awarded a BBB+ corporate rating by Capital Intelligence Ltd. -Ends- Photo Caption: Mr. Diraar Alghanim, Chairman & Managing Director of Markaz.