Real Estate

Gatehouse financing European Property

Cecilia Valente reported on 25 February that UK Islamic bank Gatehouse, a unit of Kuwait's Securities House, is set to close its first real estate deal in the coming months, refinancing a continental European property worth about 100 million euros ($128.5 million). The CEO David Testa is cited to have said the bank expected to seal the deal by the end of the second quarter, declining to identify precisely the property or its location. He defines the range of business the four wholesale Islamic banks in the UK could do at deals between GBP 20-40 mn.

Gatehouse, the latest UK-based Islamic bank to be approved by UK market regulator the Financial Services Authority (FSA), will finance the deal through a lease and buy-back bond issuance, known as Ijara sukuk.

The sukuk will be placed in the market through the Channel Island-listed Milestone Capital Platform, which the bank said has the capacity to issue debt to up to $1 billion.

Testa said Gatehouse was also involved in raising $50 million for a commodity deal with a Latin American company, which he declined to name.

Emaar US subsidiary files for bankruptcy protection Chapter 11

The US subsidiary of Emaar Properties, John Laing Homes, has sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection due to sharp decline in home sales.

AmanahRaya-JMF looks into Islamic REITs

AmanahRaya-JMF Asset Management Sdn Bhd, which currently manages RM 7.5 bn in funds, is looking at going into Islamic real estate investment trusts (REITs) in the next two or three years, says managing director/chief executive officer Sharizad Jumaat, and exclude non compliant components by 2011.

Gulf Finance House and others to develop resort in Morocco

Morocco has signed a letter of intent with Itmar developpement, Abou Dhabi Investment and Gulf Finance house to develop a USD 1.8 bn, 270 hectar large resort in Essaouria, Morocco at Davos.

Amlak meeting to consider job cuts

Amlak Finance, the mortgage financer will consider job cuts at its board meeting on 31 January the company announced in a statement along to discuss the merger proceedings with Tamweel and earnings. Amlak and Tamweel will be both taken over by Abu-Dhbai based Real Estate Bank, merge with the Emirates Industrial Bank under the new name Emirates Development Bank according to reporting by the state news agency WAM in November.

New Saudi-Arabian Property Financer as JV between Al-Khabeer and Al Mutajara

Al-Khabeer Merchant Finance Corporation built a Joint-Venture with Al Mutajara installments company to establish ‘Dari for Home Loans,’ a new SAR 1 bn capitalised Saudi joint-stock company-under development stage, which will specialise in financing the construction and purchase of houses and residential properties in accordance with Islamic Sharia principles.

Dari Home Loans will become one of the first real estate financing companies in the Kingdom to specifically cater to the middle income sector. It will not include property developers among its pool of clients.

Dari Home Loans is currently appointing personnel and officials for managing its human resources and is negotiating with a global partner for the transfer of management experience to this sector in the Kingdom. Al-Khabeer is adopting its turnkey and integrated banking solutions to develop Dari, as Al-Khabeer directs the finance and advisory for the company. The new property funding firm’s founders are confident that it will be fully established in a short span of time given the strength of the Kingdom’s economy.

Mohammad Sheikh is Chief Operating Officer of Dari Home Loans.

Axis REIT considers Islamic financing

The Star Malaysia reported on January 24 that AXIS Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is looking at various options to raise capital, including Islamic financing, to buy more properties. The REIT became Sharia compliant last December.

CEO is Stewart LaBrooy.

Al Khabeer Signs MoU with Jazan Development Co. for Jazan Economic City

Al-Khabeer Merchant Finance Corporation announced on 12 January 2009 to create a SAR 400 mn real estate fund for the benefit of Jazan Economic City projects.

Gulf Finance House launches USD 3 bn project in Tunisia

Xinhua reported on 9 January that Gulf Finance House (GFH) launches a new USD 3 bn project in Tunisia, named "Tunis City Communication". In December 2007 GFH has already announced the "Tunis Financial Harbour", with an investment close to USD 3 bn.

Investment Dar is considering selling a stake in real estate firm Oqyana

Gulf Daily News reported on 9 January that Kuwait's Investment Dar, is considering selling a stake in real estate affiliate Oqyana. Daily As-Seyassah said Dar had received an offer from an unidentified Gulf investor to buy 50 % of its stake in Oqyana.

Gatehouse Bank appoints new head of real estate

Gatehouse Bank released that Philip Churchill has been appointed as Head of Real Estate. Philip Churh has been previously Head of Investment Management, Europe for four years with HDG Mansur, fund manager of the HSBC Amanah Global Properties Income Fund.

Bank of London and the Middle East plc completes GBP 31.5 mn refinancing for client

Bank of London and The Middle East plc (“BLME”), has announced on 7 January the completion of a 3-year GBP 31.5 mn finance transaction for Premio Group Holdings to refinance Premio’s property portfolio in Mayfair, London. This is the first Islamic finance transaction completed by Premio Group Holdings.

Premio Group Holdings is a joint venture between Chelsfield Partners LLP and Rollpost established in December 2005. Premio owns over 50,000 square ft of prime residential and commercial property in London’s Mayfair.

Advisers to both firms were Alexander Marks, SJ Berwin and KPMG for Premio and Herbert Smith LLP for BLME.

Deyaar's contracts will be Shariah-compliant

Business 24/7 reported on 6 January that the real estate developer said that Deyaar's contracts will be Shariah-compliant and they are going to deal exclusively with Islamic banks. Deyaar is an affiliate of Dubai Islamic Bank. Markus Giebel, the CEO of Deyaar has written a column for Business 24/7.

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