The National Investor to split shares and raise capital

Capital increase to AED200m; to fund aggressive expansion plans Abu Dhabi: June 29, 2004: Shareholders of The National Investor, one of the UAE’s leading investment and advisory firms, have voted to allow the board to increase the Company’s capital from AED77m to AED200m at the Company’s recent Extraordinary General Meeting. The shareholders of the National Investor also ratified the move to split the nominal value of the Company’s shares from AED 100 to AED10 per share and increase the amount of outstanding shares from 770,000 to 7.7 million shares. The capital increase will be offered, in priority, to the company’s existing shareholders and the company plans to issue an additional 12.3 million shares. In addition, the shareholders approved a measure to allow foreigners to own up to 20 per cent of the Company’s capital.

The National Investor recently disclosed an increase in annual profits of 212% after a particularly successful year in which investment banking revenues went up by 117%, assets under management increased by 124% and the company’s listed equity portfolio appreciated by 51.5% – strongly outperforming the NBAD General Index which went up by 39.5% during the same fiscal year.

Commenting on the capital increase, Mr. Abdullah Mohamed Al Mazrui, Chairman of the National Investor, said: “While our annual results illustrate that we have had an extremely successful year, we need to maintain the momentum and raise the capital to fund our plans for expansion. We intend to grow, increase profits and become one of the region’s leading investment banks.”

“With WTO accession and the increase in competition, many investment banks will face the prospect of having to raise capital or risk being marginalized. We are acting now so that we put ourselves in a strong position and maintain and grow our dominant investment banking franchise. I am delighted that our shareholders share our vision,” said Dr Karim El Solh, Chief Executive Officer, National Investor.

“By securing further capital, the National Investor will use its increased balance sheet to underwrite and lead more and bigger investment banking transactions as well as invest in local and regional capital markets. A larger balance sheet will also increase our exposure to regional private equity and real estate markets where we can source and structure unique and highly profitable investment opportunities. This is an area where we continue to distinguish ourselves,” explained Dr. El Solh.

“Our plans to grow across all areas of our business are critical to becoming a strong merchant banking leader across the region. We are not ruling out acquisitions at this stage as this could nicely complement our organic growth, especially when it comes to regional expansion,” concluded Dr. El Solh.

Notes to Editors

About The National Investor: The National Investor is a leading UAE investment and advisory firm with a distinguished track record in fundraising, advisory services, asset management and private equity investments. The Company is backed by over 60 UAE shareholders who come from the highest echelons of the business and political community. NI is actively involved in investment banking, private equity and asset management. 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 AED 2.6 billion). 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