The National Investor announces net earnings of AED19.2million for first six months resulting in a 28% return on equity

Abu Dhabi, November 22, 2004: The National Investor, one of the UAE’s leading investment and merchant banking firms, today announced net consolidated earnings of AED19.2million, a 93% increase over the corresponding period last year.

Revenues from the company’s investment banking and advisory activities climbed to AED5.2m from AED964,742 compared to the same period last year, representing an increase of 446%. The portfolio of listed equities, which comprises blue chip and highly liquid shares, reported a return of 52% for the six month period, ending September 30 versus a 34% increase of the NBAD Index, thereby outperforming the market by 18%.

Shareholders’ equity stood at AED210m as at 30 September 2004. Moreover, return on equity (ROE) for the six months period was 28% over shareholders’ equity position at March 31, 2004.

Commenting on the positive performance, Mr Abdullah Mohamed Al Mazrui, Chairman, The National Investor, 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 strong performance of our portfolio of investments. The shareholders’ equity increased due to the ongoing capital increase, the jump in our net earnings and the revaluation reserve due to the appreciation in value of the company’s investment in IPO founders’ shares.”

The performance shows that we are now firmly positioned as one of the top regional investment and advisory 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.” In addition to the Company’s strong Investment Banking performance, The National Investor’s Private Equity division has been active with the recent acquisition of a 15% stake in DEPA Interiors, the Middle East’s largest interior design and furnishing company. The National Investor is also in the process of acquiring stakes in several other promising companies. “Our private equity strategy is to focus on late stage, profitable companies with seasoned management that could go public soon. This results in a shorter holding period, higher returns and a potential source of business for our investment banking division,” Mr. Al Mazrui explained.

Outlining the positive outlook for the remainder of the year, Dr Karim El Solh, Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are anticipating further growth in the remainder of 2004 as we execute some of the large mandates we have recently won. In addition to our very strong IPO performance this year which included joint-lead managing some of the most successful public offerings in the UAE’s history, we are also working on several promising upcoming IPOs and private equity deals.”

Notes to Editors

About The National Investor: The National Investor is a leading UAE investment and advisory firm with a distinguished track record in investment banking, asset management and private equity. The Company is backed by over 60 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 4.1 billion AED). NI is also actively involved in the local asset management scene, having launched innovative products such as the first Emirates Real Estate Fund. For more information on the National Investor, please visit the Web site at