Sunday, October 17, 2010

Gulf Finance House - Capital Reorganization and Raising - A Look "Behind the Curtain"

"Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain"

GFH published the agenda for its shareholders' general meeting on the capital reorganization/raising to be held 31 October.  So far only in Arabic on the DFM and on the KSE (copy below so you can follow along).  Strangely not yet on the BSE.

As the picture above suggests, by looking behind curtain we can get a real understanding of what's going on.

In brief the key points are:
  1. The capital reorganization and US$500 murabaha are being structured to make them as attractive as possible to new investors.  That means that existing shareholders are being substantially diluted through a variety of clever means - which might not be apparent to most readers of the agenda for the shareholders' meeting. 
  2. A share swap transaction between Mr. Janahi and GFH which seems designed to strengthen GFH's creditworthiness as well as provide some much needed "relief" on the CAR both in terms of risk weighted assets and potentially equity.
First, let's look at what's immediately visible:  the agenda for the shareholders meeting.   Shareholders are being asked to:
  1. Approve a share swap between GFH and its Chairman/Executive CEO, Mr. Esam Janahi.  In return for his 104,923,734 shares in Khaleeji Commercial Bank ("KHCB"), GFH will give him 100% of its shares in AlAreen Company for Leisure and Tourism (whose main asset is the Lost Paradise of Dilmun Water Park in Bahrain) plus US$3 million.  The latter either in cash or Treasury Shares of GFH. 
  2. Reduce the number of GFH's issued shares from 1,896,332,565 to 474,083,141 in a reverse 4:1 share split.
  3. Reduce the paid in capital from US$625,789,746.45 to US$142,224,942.375.  A difference of US$483,564,804.075. 
  4. Reduce the par value of shares to US$0.3075 from US$1.32.
  5. Approve the issuance of up to US$500 million in a privately placed convertible murabaha through a special purpose company set up by the bank or established at its request.  (That is, the SPV will lend to GFH.  It will obtain its funding from various investors.)
  6. The profit rate ("interest rate") on the murabaha to be the "market rate" according to the rate and formula established by the Board of Directors shortly before issuance.  Such profit rate to be payable in cash or additional GFH shares.
  7. The conversion price to be between US$0.31 and US$0.40 per share - with the rate of discount not less than 20% to 40% of the market price of the shares - but not below the nominal share price.  The conversion price to be set by the Board shortly before issuance.
  8. A tenor of 3.5 years.
  9. Conversion at investors' option with right of Board to offer an early conversion "incentive" according to conditions the Board will set.  Note that means that the murabaha does not count as equity for either regulatory (CAR) or accounting purposes until it is converted.  For the latter, only the embedded equity option is counted as equity under IFRS.
  10. Waiver of pre-emptive right of shareholders to new equity.
  11. Authorization for Board or whoever it appoints to take necessary legal steps to implement and for Chairman or whoever he appoints to sign the necessary legal documents.
  12. Conversion of GFH's share register to electronic form according to the rules of the Central Bank of Bahrain and the BSE.
Now a look behind the curtain via some hopefully informed analysis:

A.  Share Swap - KHCB for GFH
  1. GFH gets several benefits from this transaction.
  2. Immediate strengthening of GFH's creditstanding.  KHCB is a better asset than the Water Park, which is why the West LB syndicate asked for the former.  Probably better earnings and better future.  The Water Park like the Riffa Golf Course, no doubt, looked like a very "wise" idea on paper.  In the real world, it's probably not.
  3. Regulatory relief on the CAR - a matter of great importance to GFH who sit right on the edge.  The first way this comes is by moving this "puppy" (the water park, which is risk weighted in the GFH's CAR calculation) to someone else's kennel (balance sheet).  In return GFH gets KHCB, increasing ts holding from 36.99% to 46.99%.  Currently, GFH partially consolidates  KHBC, and, thus,  it doesn't have to worry for CAR purposes about fluctuations in KHCB's share price - which has dropped by roughly 50% since last year this time.  Since KHCB's CAR is roughly 31% as at 30 June 2010, the impact on GFH's Risk Weighted Assets and thus its CAR should be positive.
  4. As you'll notice, the US$3 million owed to Mr. Janahi can be paid in cash or GFH shares.  So there's a potential boost to equity if the latter can be used to settle this amount.  Treasury Shares are deducted from Shareholders' Equity at their cost. What this means is that if GFH gets more than zero in proceeds from the sale or conversion of Treasury Shares, the amount of its Shareholders' Equity will go up by the amount of the proceeds received.  This happened in 2Q10 where GFH sold US$29.1 million (original cost) of Treasury Shares for US$7.6 million and recognized a US$7.6 million consequent increase in Shareholders' Equity.  While admittedly a small card in the scheme of things, this could be just the thing that helps GFH keeps its head about the 12% threshold in a close situation.   As I suspect the 2Q10 Treasury Share sale was.
  5. And, to round things out, a footnote on KHCB.  Without qualifying my opinion about the  credit benefit of acquiring KHCB, I call your attention to Note 3.4 in KHCB's Basel II Pillar 3 Disclosures as of 30 June 2010, which shows that some 24% of its Islamic Financing Assets are past due.  According to that information, some 42% of the past dues (BD47,385 - which is the total amount of the past due loans not just the past due installments which  are BD10,487) are up to 30 days late.  Proceeding cumulatively, 51% up to 60 days, and 72% up to 90 days.  According to KHCB's risk classification system, some 59% of the past dues are rated Credit Grades 1-6.  Personally, I would have thought a past due loan  would automatically go on the "watch list" (Credit Grades 7-8) but then I don't have the details of KHCB's loan portfolio including collateral.  In any  case those concerned with KHCB should keep an eye on this area to see if there is deterioration or improvement in the future.
B.  Capital Reorganization
  1. Under the Bahraini Commercial Companies Law of 2001, GFH is obliged to take action now that accumulated losses are 75% or more of paid in capital. Approved methods for rectifying this situation are:  (a) reducing paid in capital by an amount sufficient to offset the losses and/or using other equity reserves (share premium, statutory or voluntary reserves), (b) raising additional capital and (c) a combination of (a) and (b).  Generally, financial institutions use Method (c).  In some cases a bank might get away with merely offsetting the losses against existing capital - assuming its pre-reorganization CAR were robust.  GFH's is not so it must do both.
  2. As you'll notice, GFH is not using its reserves.  Why? Very simply put:  the path it has chosen is designed to make the murabaha more attractive to investors.  Under GFH's plan, they will get more of the total shareholding of the Bank for each dollar they contribute.  
  3. 1H10 financials  provide the details of the components of GFH's capital.   If GFH were to use its US$206 million share premium and US$85 million statutory reserve  (total US$291 million), it would only have to "use" US$192 million of paid-in-capital.  Thus, leaving original shareholders holding US$433 million in common equity instead of US$142 million. 
  4. To take control, the new money would have to put in US$433 million plus $1.  Under GFH's reorganization plan it only needs to put in US$142 million plus $1. 
  5. Similarly, if the new investors put in the full US$500 million, under GFH's plan they get 78% of the total equity.  If the reserves were used as outlined above, they would only get 54%.
  6. Clearly, there is a conflict here.  Existing shareholders want to be diluted as little as possible.  New shareholders want the most value for their new dollar.  Sadly for the existing shareholders, including the even "wiser" ones who invested in late 2009, their money is already spent.  The new and presumably much wiser investors need to be persuaded to part with their money.  GFH has set  the reorganization and the terms of the murabaha to make it as easy as possible to get the money that it desperately needs.
C.  US$500 Million Murabaha
  1. Use of an SPV as the lender can be quite a useful device in shielding the identity of the new lenders/shareholders, particularly if the SPV is not incorporated in Bahrain.  It will depend on how much transparency the CBB wants to demand here and how far it can push this Bank which has an important and powerful friend in Bahrain.
  2. One would expect the market rate for unsecured GFH debt to be rather hefty.  And the value ascribed to the option on GFH shares much less so.  The Board will price "at market" - which will mean in effect what investors demand. 
  3. The approval also provides for a discount from market price of between 20% to 40%.   This is where the reverse split comes to play.  There is nothing in the Bahrain CCL that requires this as part of the capital reorganization.  I suspect GFH is hoping that  the reverse split will work a bit of magic on their market price.  Over the past two weeks, GFH has traded at KD0.033 (roughly US$0.11) per share.  A 4:1 reverse split should bring the price to say US$0.44 per share - allowing the Board to discount the conversion price to say just a whisker over par to make the transaction even more attractive. 
  4. "But wait there's more" as they say on the late night TV ads for the ShamWOW!  The Board is allowed to offer an incentive (terms unspecified in the approval) for an early exercise.  That allows an even greater discount to attract new investors.  So, if the conversion price is set at a whisker over par, can the Board issue shares below par through this device? 
  5. You ask about the hapless existing shareholders?  Well, GFH already has their money and needs more.  So they are out of luck.
KSE announcement below.

[12:17:53]  ِ.اجتماع الجمعية العمومية العادية و غير العادية لبيت التمويل الخليجي
يعلن سوق الكويت للأوراق الماليه بأن بيت التمويل الخليجي أفاده بأنه
سوف يتم عقد جمعية عمومية عادية و غير عادية للبنك في الساعه 9 من
صباح يوم الاحد الموافق 31-10-2010 في فندق منتجع و قصر العرين
وقد طلب البنك ايقاف التداول على اسهمه في السوق اعتبارا من اليوم
الاحد الموافق 17-10-2010 وحتى اشعار اخر حيث حصل على موافقة ‏
مصرف البحرين المركزي على ذلك .‏
هذا وسوف يتم خلال الجمعية العمومية مناقشة ما يلي
أولا : جدول اعمال الجمعية العامة العادية
ِ1- المصادقة على محضر الاجتماع السابق .‏
ِ2- المصادقه على معاملة استبدال الاسهم بين بيت التمويل الخليجي و رئيس
مجلس ادارته السيد /عصام جناحي و التى سيتم بموجبها تحويل حصته في المصرف
الخليجي التجاري ش.م.ب بالكامل (104.923.734 سهم ) الى بيت التمويل الخليجي
مقابل الحصول على حصه البنك في شركة العرين للترفيه و السياحه ش.غ.خ و ‏
البالغه 100% (جنة دلمون المفقودة) بالاضافه الى مبلغ 3 ملايين دولار تدفع
اما نقدا و / او بواسطة اسهم خزانه بيت التمويل الخليجي .‏
ِ3- الموافقة على تغيير سجل مساهمي البنك من سجل عادي الى الكتروني ‏
وفقا لاحكام مصرف البحرين المركزي و سوق البحرين للأوراق الماليه .‏
ثانيا : جدول اعمال الجمعيه العامه الغير عاديه ‏
ِ1- المصادقه على محضر الاجتماع السابق .‏
ِ2- التباحث في والمصادقه على دمج الاسهم الصادرة لبيت التمويل الخليجي ‏
بمعدل 4:1 لينتج عن ذلك تخفيض عدد الاسهم الصادرة من 1.896.332.565 سهم
الى 474.083.141 سهم .‏
ِ3- التباحث في والمصادقه على تخفيض راس المال المدفوع من 625,789,746.45 ‏
دولار امريكي الى 142,224,942.375 دولار امريكي بسبب الخسائر المتراكمه ‏
ِ(سيقدم المدقق الخارجي السادة كي بي ام جي بيانا مستقلا يتعلق بتاييدهم لهذا
التخفيض ) .‏
ِ4- التباحث في والمصادقه على خفض القيمة الاسمية الجديدة للاسهم والتي ‏
ستبلغ 1.32 دولار امريكي بعد الدمج و تخفيض راس المال المدفوع المشار اليه
في البندين 2 و 3 من بنود جدول الاعمال الى 0.3075 دولار امريكي .‏
ِ5- التباحث والمصادقه على قيام بيت التمويل الخليجي من خلال اية شركة
غرض خاص يؤسسها البنك او تؤسس بناء على طلبه لاقتراض ما يصل ‏
الى 500,000,000 دولار امريكي من خلال مرابحة تمويليه قابلة للتحويل
الى اسهم بناء على البنود و الشروط التاليه :‏
ِ- معدل ارباح يحدد وفقا لسعرالسوق ووفقا للمعدل والصيغه المحددة من قبل مجلس
الادارة قبل وقت قصير من تاريخ السحب . يمكن دفع  هذا الربح نقدا او في صورة
اسهم عينية في بيت التمويل الخليجي .‏
ِ- سعر تحويل يتراوح من (0.31 دولار امريكي الى 0.40 دولار امريكي) ‏
ِ(بمعدل خصم لا يقل عن 20% الى 40% من القيمة السوقيه في اعقاب
الدمج بحيث لا تقل عن القيمة الاسمية للسهم) فيما سيتم تحديد السعر النهائي ‏
من قبل مجلس الادارة قبل فترة قصيره من تاريخ السحب .‏
ِ- مدة تصل الى ثلاثة سنوات و نصف .‏
ِ- غير مضمونه و لكن قابله للتحويل بمحض خيار المستثمر الى اسهم في بيت
التمويل الخليجي قبل انتهاء المدة ووفقا للشروط التى يحددها مجلس الادارة.‏
ِ- حافز التحويل المبكر لتشجيع المستثمرين على التحويل الى اسهم قبل
نهاية المدة وفقا للشروط التى يحددها مجلس الادارة .‏
ِ6- منح التنازل عن حق الاولوية الخاص بمساهمي بيت التمويل الخليجي ‏
فيما يتعلق باصدار اسهم عادية جديده سيتم اصدارها عند تحويل تمويل المرابحه
وفقا لبنود الفقرة 5 من جدول الاعمال .‏
ِ7- تخويل مجلس الادارة و/او من ينوب عنه للقيام بجميع الاجرءات الرسمية ‏
المطلوبه و الصحيحه لتفعيل تمويل المرابحه بما في ذلك دون حصر تحديد و/او
تعديل شروط المرابحه والمستندات الاخرى ذات العلاقه .‏
ِ8- تخويل رئيس مجلس الادارة او من ينوب عنه بالتوقيع على تعديل عقد
التأسيس و النظام الاساسي نيابة عن المساهمين امام كاتب العدل فيما يتعلق ‏
بالتغييرات في راس المال لتعكس ما تقدم .‏
علما بأنه في حالة عدم اكتمال النصاب القانوني لهذه الجمعية سيكون الاجتماع ‏
الثاني يوم الاحد الموافق7-11-2010 في نفس الزمان والمكان وفي هذه الحاله ‏
ستسري احكام الماده 57 من النظام الاساسي للبنك. وفي حالة عدم اكتمال النصاب
القانوني في الاجتماع الثاني ، سيتم عقد اجتماع ثالث يوم الاحد الموافق ‏
ِ14-نوفمبر-2010 في نفس المكان و ذلك بسريان احكام المادة 57 من النظام
الاساسي للبنك . ‏

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