Strategy and Business Overview
UGB’s strategic objective is to create the MENA region’s premier asset management, merchant banking and investment bank. UGB seeks to be the preferred gateway to the region for its clients and global partners through the delivery of both conventional and Islamic services, backed by world class standards of support, infrastructure and processes. The Bank works with strategic partners to create opportunities that position UGB as a leading financial institution for the region.
Either directly or through its subsidiaries, associate companies and joint venture, UGB engages primarily in asset and fund management, investment banking, private equity and corporate banking. Other business activities include commercial banking, proprietary investments, savings and pensions, brokerage and treasury.
Asset Management and Investment Banking
Asset and fund management activities – covering local, regional and international markets – comprise discretionary and non-discretionary portfolio management; securities trading; portfolio structuring and asset allocation advice; mutual funds; investments and structuring; and alternative / structured investments.
Conventional and Islamic investment banking activities cover equity and debt underwriting, private placements, capital restructuring, and mergers and acquisitions.
Private equity activity focuses on key growth or demand sectors such as telecommunications, media, technology, and energy.
Corporate banking advisory services include IPO and private placement advisory and execution; business valuation and financial feasibility studies; project finance; and due diligence.
Other Business Activities
UGB along with its commercial banking subsidiary FIMBank plc, work closely with its associate, Burgan Bank, which manages commercial banking assets in various countries.
Savings and Pensions
UGB’s associate, Takaud Savings and Pensions B.S.C. (c), is the first financial institution in the MENA region to provide a range of personal pensions and savings products.
UGB provides financial brokerage services for overseas clients who wish to trade on shares listed on the Bahrain Bourse. The Bank also provides clients with access to the Kuwait Stock Exchange through its associate, Al Sharq Financial Brokerage Company.
Key Business Developments and Initiatives
UGB’s assets under management stood at US$ 10 billion at the end of 2016 compared with US$ 10.7 billion at the end of the previous year.
Revenue from associated companies in 2016 decreased slightly to US$ 41.1 million compared with US$ 45.9 million in 2015. Key contributors were Burgan Bank with US$ 35.5 million and United Real Estate Company with US$ 3.3 million.
New investments during the year include a 9.8% stake in Advanced Technology Company, the leading end-to-end total healthcare solutions provider in Kuwait; a minority stake in the MENA region; and acquisition of a prime income generating property in Kuwait.
Since the acquisition in 2015 of a prime income generating, fully leased commercial property in Federal Street, Boston, USA, the Bank has been actively involved in the day to day management of the property, with the aim of increasing the overall value of the investment.