Kuwait Financial Centre “Markaz” (KSE: Markaz, Reuters: MARKZ.KW, Bloomberg: MARKAZ:KK) reported its financial performance with a net profit of KD 4.3 million for the quarter ending December 31, 2020, reducing the net loss attributable to shareholders for the year 2020 to KD (1.72) million, as compared to a net profit of KD 6.96 million for 2019. The Earnings per Share (EPS) was accordingly negative 4 fils for the year 2020 as compared to 15 fils for 2019.
Mr. Diraar Yusuf Alghanim, Chairman stated: “2020 was clearly the most challenging period in recent history with the onset of the global health crisis. The primary focus of Markaz in the first half of 2020 was to maintain the business stability and continuity, ensuring its clients’ objectives are being achieved, while protecting the health and safety of all its employees. The second half recovery started with the removal of the initial lockdown restrictions, even as the GCC continued to feel the impact of lower oil prices and demand. With this economic and market backdrop, Markaz was still able to deliver gradual improvement during the year on both operational and financial performance indicators.
Mr. Ali H. Khalil, Chief Executive Officer stated: “In December 2020, Markaz successfully closed its KD 35 million 5-year bond issue through private placement. The bonds were oversubscribed, which supports the financial plan for the company on the mid and long terms.”
He added: “Markaz reported Asset Management fees of KD 7.52 million in 2020, a decline of 7.3% y-o-y, which were most impacted in Q2 2020 as a direct result of equity market volatility. However, Asset Management fees recovered sequentially in Q3 and Q4 2020 to pre-pandemic levels. Investment Banking fees for 2020 were KD 0.61 million, a growth of 5.9 % y-o-y and a reflection of Markaz’s commitment to providing incomparable investment banking services.”
He pointed out: “Revenues for 2020 were supported by the positive results of Markaz real estate activities. On the other side, the annual performance was offset by the loss from financial assets at a fair value of KD (2.08) million out of which KD (0.26) were actually realized. Markaz also recognized an impairment of properties of KD (2.07) million due to subdued real estate market conditions. Markaz AUM at the end of the year closed at KD 979 million as compared to KD 1,143 million at the end of 2019.”