GFH planning to raise $500m in fresh funds

Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House (GFH) plans to reduce its capital and raise up to $500 million in fresh funds to plug the holes a regional property crunch cut into its balance sheet.
The Islamic investment house said in August it would hold a shareholder's meeting in October to approve plans to raise up to $300m through a murabaha, an Islamic equity-linked money market instrument.
GFH is one of the Bahraini investment houses that relied on fees charged on investor money raised for private equity and property projects, a market that collapsed when the global financial crisis triggered a regional property crash in 2008.
It posted a $728m loss for 2009 and has since struggled to pay back its debt as it failed to sell down illiquid property assets and find a new business model.
It narrowly escaped default in February when it reached a last-minute deal with lender to roll over a $300m loan and now needs to find fresh fund to finish the property projects it started from Morocco to India.
International and regional bond and loan markets have been closed to Bahrain's investment sector that is yet to find a new business model, making private placements and capital increases the only source of funding.