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Viability rtgs reaffirmed at bb; outlook stable Fitch upgrades GIC ratings by 2 notches

KUWAIT CITY, June 28: The Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) announced today that Fitch Credit Rating Agency upgraded its Long Term IDR ratings by 2 notches to A-, from the previous BBB rating. Fitch also upgraded GIC’s Short Term ratings by 2 notches to F1. The viability ratings were reaffirmed at bb. All ratings carry a Stable outlook. The positive action by Fitch was, to a large extent, based on0 Fitch’s reassessment of shareholder support in light of GIC’s strategic importance to the GCC. This resulted in an upgrade of the Support rating factor to ‘1’ from ‘2’. This upgrade reflects Fitch’s recognition of GIC’s strong ownership structure and strategic relevance. It also indicates the corporation’s strong financial condition, prudent strategic initiatives and favorable future prospects.

Commenting on the recent action by Fitch, Ibrahim Al Qadhi, CEO, said “This rating action by Fitch is especially gratifying, given that it is on the back of a multi-notch upgrade by Moody’s earlier this year.” He added “the upgrades also reflect the corporation’s strong financial condition, prudent strategic initiatives and favorable future prospects. I am hopeful that the corporation will continue on its path of good performance and growth.” GIC posted a profit of $165 million for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2013, up 25% compared to the $131 million earned in the 2012. From a financial strength perspective, the Tier 1 capital adequacy ratio reached 36%, comfortably exceeding the international and regional requirements while its leverage, in terms of debt to equity, stood at a conservative 1.1 times. Furthermore, GIC’s liquidity and liability profiles are quite robust. Established in 1983, GIC is a regional financial institution owned entirely and equally by the six GCC states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. It is headquartered in the State of Kuwait.

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