Real Estate

Eskan Bank: Making #HomeOwnership a Reality for #Bahrain’s Citizens

Bahrain’s Eskan Bank has enjoyed a very fruitful 2015. The bank recorded positive growth in its mortgage-loan portfolio and also made great strides in several of its social and affordable housing initiatives. Total net income grew by 8% during the year, while the bank’s capital-adequacy ratio continued to improve to 151.72%. Although the Ministry of Housing (MOH) is responsible for the allocation of social-housing financing to Bahraini citizens, Eskan Bank provides pivotal support through the processing of approved social-housing financing applications.

MASIC partners on #Islamic #financing of $219 million New York Condo

Baker & McKenzie advised Mohammed I. Alsubeaei & Sons Investment Company a leading private equity investment company based in Saudi Arabia in a $219 mn dollar Murabaha facility to develop a luxury condominium development. MASIC provided the mezzanine financing for the development project, 45 Park Place, located in New York's TriBeCa neighborhood. The deal highlights the expansion of Islamic financing into the US real estate market.
MASIC partnered with other financial institutions and Soho Properties on the downtown condo project, which is scheduled for completion in 2018. Financiers for the project include Malayan Banking Berhad, London Branch; Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A.; Warba Bank K.S.C.P.; and MASIC.
Baker & McKenzie partner Mona Dajani said, “This successful financing by MASIC is a milestone transaction in the United States using tiered Shari’ah-compliant facilities for commercial transactions. This transaction aptly demonstrates the increased activity in Islamic financings in the United States which has emerged over the past year.”
The Baker & McKenzie team, led by Ms. Dajani, included partner, Pat McDonald and associates Michael Reed, and Maher Haddad.

#Estate planning: The benefits of Islamic estate planning (Pt 1)

In #Malaysia estate planning is an often forgotten element in a Muslim’s financial plan. According to Abdul Aziz Peru Mohamed, CEO of as-Salihin Trustee, estate planning is how we protect the assets we have spent a lifetime accumulating. He says 85% of the local Muslim population have not done any estate planning. There had been an estimated RM60 billion worth of unclaimed assets since the country’s independence in 1957. This is a substantial increase from RM42 billion worth of frozen assets in 2011. By having a will or trust, the issue of unclaimed assets will not arise as the settlor will appoint an executor or trustee to manage the deceased’s assets.

OJK speeds up Islamic #REITs to attract Middle East investors

The Financial Services Authority (OJK) is considering providing a legal basis for Islamic real estate investment trustees (REITs), hoping that it will attract more property investors, especially from the Middle East. OJK deputy director of sharia market Muhammad Touriq said Takaful companies are interested in investing in the REITs, but have failed to do so as the existing REITs are not sharia-compliant. The Indonesian government is working on an incentive for the Islamic REITs that allows investors to pay only 0.5% income tax. So far 11 developers have expressed their interest including Ciputra, Summarecon and Ciptadana Asset Management.

Manhattan tower secures $219m in sharia-compliant financing

Real estate developer Sharif El-Gamal has secured $219 mn in sharia-compliant financing for a luxury condominium tower in New York City. The financing is led by Maybank and Warba Bank, other participants include Intesa Sanpaolo and MASIC, the investment arm of Saudi Arabia’s Al Subeaei family. The financing comes seven years after El-Gamal purchased the property for $4.85 mn with the goal to build a centre for reconciliation between Islam and the west.

Global Consortium of Lenders Led by Maybank and Warba Bank Delivers $219 Million in Construction Financing For Soho Properties' Trophy Condominium Tower at 45 Park Place

New Yorker real estate investor Soho Properties announced it has secured $219 mn in financing for the construction of its Tribeca condominium tower. The announcement was made by Soho Properties' Chairman and CEO, Sharif El-Gamal. The financing is provided by an international syndicate of lenders, with Maybank and Warba Bank serving as joint Lead Arrangers and Intesa Sanpaolo as Documentation Agent. The construction of the 665-foot tall glass and steel tower will commence this summer and will be completed in 2018.

Tabung Haji said to offer US$290 mil London office for sale

#Malaysian fund Lembaga Tabung Haji has hired broker Savills to find a buyer for its London office building at 10 Queen Street Place. The building was purchased by Tabung Haji in 2012 for £165 mn and is now expected to sell for about £200 million. Malaysia’s state investment funds have been selling UK real estate as the government called on them to help the country’s stock and currency markets.

Singapore: EthisCrowd targets $740k for real estate crowdfunding project in Jakarta

EthisCrowd.com, a Shariah compliant crowdfunding platform, is looking to raise up to S$1 million ($740,000) for a real estate crowdfunding initiative from senior executives and delegates present at the Global Islamic Finance Forum 5.0 in Kuala Lumpur next month. The funds will be raised for the Depok Dream Village in Jakarta. Founder Umar Munshi said he expects the projected returns to be 48 to 55 per cent over three to 3.5 years from a share of the development profits.

Tunisia: realization of Tunis Financial Harbour starts

Governor of Ariana, Mehdi Zaoui announced the start of work on the construction of the Tunis Financial Harbour. Zaoui said they finished the dispute regarding the expropriation for public use under habitat. The Tunis Financial Harbour, considered as a mega project developed by the Gulf Finance House in the northern suburbs near Raoued, extends over 523 hectares with a total investment of USD 5 billion.

Creditor sale brings Dubai's Limitless to brink of debt plan deal

Dubai-based property developer Limitless is set to complete a drawn-out debt restructuring after the final dissenting creditor sold its share of the company's 4.45 billion dirhams ($1.2 billion) debt. New York-based Stonehill Capital Management sold its debt in the state-controlled company, worth around $15 million at face value, to Dubai Islamic Bank, an existing creditor and one of the members of the creditor committee. They declined to say at what price the debt was bought.

'Greater Paris' woos Qatari investors

Paris is wooing potential Qatari investors to be the part of a huge infrastructure development project, 'Greater Paris', to which the government of France has already committed €50bn. Chiara Corazzara, Managing Director of the Greater Paris Investment Agency said the state-sponsored investment in infrastructures is designed to trigger €80bn private investment and the response that they get from Qatari investors is really encouraging.

Bahrain's Arcapita acquires $100m logistics park in Dubai

Global investment management firm Arcapita has acquired a logistics park in Dubai for a total transaction value of approximately $100 million.The investment comprises nine freehold plots of land in the Al Quoz Industrial area covering an area of approximately 630,000 square feet, located next to Al Khail Road. The site will consist of 10 completed warehousing facilities that will be under a long term master lease with a UAE conglomerate. Martin Tan, Arcapita’s chief investment officer, expects Dubai’s logistics market to experience growth, driven by its geographical location and legislation.

Gatehouse launches residential property finance offering

Gatehouse Bank plc has announced its entry into the residential property finance market. With a focus on greater London, Gatehouse will offer Shariah-compliant financing solutions for clients seeking to acquire or refinance residential properties. This new product was developed following strong client demand for residential property finance solutions. Gatehouse will offer clients bespoke property finance products, from simple single residential investment finance to more complex company structures including property portfolio and short lease finance. Abdulaziz AlDuweesh, Chief Investment Officer of Gatehouse sees significant opportunities to grow Gatehouse's presence in this market.

GFH signs £100 million deal for Northacre's 1 palace street

GFH Financial Group (GFH) has signed an agreement with Palace Revive Developments Limited worth £100 million to be a partner in the No. 1 Palace Street development in central London, a project being developed by Northacre. Under the agreement, GFH will become an anchor partner for more than 30% of the units in the development, which is located opposite Buckingham Palace. Located in Buckingham Gate, No. 1 Palace Street includes 271,051 square feet of space adjacent to Buckingham Palace in the area between St James's, Mayfair and Belgravia, the development of 72 luxury apartments, a restaurant and health centre. The development is expected to be completed in 2018.

Bahraini banks acquire key US real estate portfolio

A consortium of Bahrain-based lenders Venture Capital Bank (VC Bank) and Seera Investment Bank has acquired a major real estate portfolio consisting of two multifamily residential assets in Atlanta (US) comprising 866 units. This marks the consortium’s first investment in the US multifamily sector and has been in co-operation with a local partner that has experience in the management and operation of multifamily residential assets. Atlanta remains a hot favourite among global investors, thanks to the large number of Fortune 500 companies that are headquartered there. It is also the fourth biggest city with headquartered Fortune 500 companies after New York City, Houston, and Dallas.

Ibdar makes £8 million investment in prime new Manchester city centre development

Bahrain-based Ibdar Bank has announced that it has made a £8 million investment in a prime new residential project. Angel Gardens, consisting of residential 458-apartments and a total development value of £124 million, forms part of the wider NOMA re-development project aimed at transforming Manchester city centre. The development is being funded through a combination of equity invested by Ibdar and other co-investors and senior debt to be obtained from one of the Banks. Forecasts indicate an expected income return through operations starting at 9.1% on stabilized income, rising to 10.8% per annum after three years of stabilised operations and a targeted IRR of +15% over a five year investment period.

Arcapita acquires $85m real estate portfolio

Arcapita has partnered with Morningstar Senior Living for senior living communities based in Colorado worth $85 million. The current portfolio for Arcapita consists of three projects for assisted living and care communities and provides a total of 196 units and 243 licensed beds in the Denver and Colorado Springs, Colorado. The focus on the state is to attract customers who are in the company’s target age demographic. The target age group for senior living facilities in Colorado is projected to grow by almost twice the national average over the next five years, stated Martin Tan, Arcapita’s chief investment officer.

Ibdar announces exit from four Bahrain-based real estate investments for USD21.67 million

Bahrain-based Ibdar Bank has announced the successful exit from four Bahrain-based real estate investments for a total value of USD 21.67 million. The first two exits consist of the sale of two 11-story buildings acquired by the Bank for total consideration of USD12.07 million. The first is a 64-apartment fully furnished building located in Manama and the other consists of 38-fully furnished apartments in Busaiteen. The other two exits consist of the sale of the Bank's affiliate company's 11-story and 10-story properties located in the popular Juffair area. The properties consist of 83 fully furnished apartments in total and supporting convenience, leisure and parking facilities, which were sold for a total consideration of USD9.6 million.

Gulf clients look to Al Rayan Bank for long-term ‘safe’ UK property investments

Keith Leach, chief commercial officer (CCO), Al Rayan Bank, has an answer to the question if the new UK stamp duty charges announced in the autumn budget have a negative impact on foreign investment into property. His answer showed that potential investors are looking at the big, global picture. The tax changes — what might be on the horizon — wasn’t figuring in their thought processes. What was in their thoughts was the political and economic instability in the region, he explained. With regard to the impact of the 3% hike across all bands of stamp duty on buy-to-let landlords in the UK, Leach said it could lead to landlords faced with higher charges raising rents, or abandoning the buy-to-let market with a consequent reduction in availability of rental properties.

S.Arabia licenses 900-mln-riyal national home finance company

Saudi Arabia's central bank has granted a license to its national home finance company, Bidaya and it will launch with 900 million riyals ($239.94 million) in capital. The decision by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) joins efforts to boost home ownership in the kingdom, where a shortage of affordable housing has become an economic and social issue. In development since 2010, Bidaya is a venture between the finance ministry's Public Investment Fund and the Jeddah-based Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD). The company aims to make financing more readily available in a kingdom where home ownership levels lag behind the global average of 70 percent.

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