The National Investor delivers strong profit of AED 41 million for first nine months, up 394% from last year

Abu Dhabi, February 19, 2005: The National Investor (“TNI”), one of the UAE’s leading investment and merchant banking firms, today announced net consolidated net profit of AED 41 million for the nine-month period ending December 31, an increase of 394% over the corresponding period last year. Revenues from the company’s investment banking and advisory activities increased by 158% reflecting TNI’s dominant position and active presence in this market segment. The portfolio of listed equities, which comprises blue chip and highly liquid shares, reported a return of 152% for the nine-month period versus a 78% increase of the NBAD Index, thereby outperforming the market by an unprecedented 74% (highlighting TNI’s ability to manage funds and outperform the local markets).

During the third quarter, TNI successfully increased its capital by AED 123 million, in an overwhelmingly oversubscribed offering. Shareholders’ equity stood at AED 301.2 million as of 31 December 2004. The shareholders’ equity increased due to the capital increase, the net profit and the revaluation reserve which is the result of an appreciation in value of the company’s investment in founders’ shares. Moreover, return on equity (ROE) for the 9-month period was a solid 59%.

Fuelled by favorable market conditions over the past nine months, income from operating activities reached AED 50.1 million, depicting an increase of 274% in comparison to last year. Commenting on the financial results, Mr Abdullah Mohamed Al Mazroui, Chairman of TNI, said “This is an extremely strong showing for The National Investor and is the result of the substantial growth in our investment banking activities and the solid performance of our portfolio of investments. The performance shows that we are now firmly positioned as one of the top regional investment banking and asset management firms and we intend to continue to leverage our distinguished track record and dominant market share to secure more business and increase our overall profitability”.

One of the major investment banking achievements in the third quarter ending December 31 2004 was the public launch of ALDAR PSC for which TNI acted as joint-lead manager alongside ADIC. The ALDAR issue, the largest IPO in the history of the UAE, was 448 times oversubscribed and raised an unprecedented AED 373 billion in demand. Dr. Karim El Solh, Chief Executive Officer, TNI said “TNI is entering 2005 with a full investment banking pipeline, with a large number of public offerings projected to hit the market in the next six months. With larger and more frequent transactions, TNI is firmly cementing its position as the No. 1 Lead Manager of IPOs in the UAE. The Firm is also looking at regional opportunities and is increasingly being invited to bid on transactions across the GCC”.

TNI’s Private Equity division has also been active and the Firm is in the process of acquiring stakes in major businesses across the UAE. Two of TNI’s investments, Colliers UAE and NAS Administration Services, have operated major turnarounds and posted sizable jumps in revenues and net profits. Commenting on TNI’s private equity achievements to date, Dr. El Solh said “TNI has achieved a remarkable track record in sourcing, executing, managing and exiting private equity investments. The recent private equity exits of ALDAR and Tabreed, two companies TNI had privately invested in prior to their IPOs, demonstrate our ability to originate, manage and exit private equity investments in the UAE. Our private equity pipeline is growing as TNI becomes increasingly the preferred financier for fast-growing companies looking for both capital and strategic advice.” “TNI’s record results, dominant market share and full investment banking pipeline validates our strategy of creating a purely GCC-focused merchant bank that excels in providing both capital and strategic advice to its clients” said Mr. Al Mazroui.

Notes to Editors

About The National Investor The National Investor is a leading UAE investment and merchant banking firm with a distinguished track record in investment banking, asset management and private equity investments. The Company is backed by over 65 UAE shareholders who come from the highest echelons of the business and political community. The Company is currently ranked as the leading arranger of public share offerings, having lead managed the largest number of public offerings in the UAE to date (with total transaction value exceeding 4 billion AED). For more information on the National Investor, please visit the Web site at