Real Estate

Ijmal to build a world-class Sharia compliant portfolio of real-estate developments

Saudi's Ijmal LLC has hired Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB), to help achieve Sharia Compliance in all its business activities. In this role, SRB will lead and oversee the company's Sharia compliant operations with global standards. Ijmal was incorporated in 2014 by Al Deghaither Group, Al-Othaim Holding, ICD and Nizwa Bank. Ijmal partners with real estate developers through a hybrid structure that incentivizes developers to achieve better quality products. Ijmal started its operations targeting developments located in Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Khobar. So far, Ijmal has partnered with one developer building 68 sea-front apartments in Kohbar Saudi Arabia.

Arcapita on investments in Saadiyat and beyond

Arcapita recently acquired Phase One of Saadiyat Beach Residences, a premium residential apartment complex in Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi, for a reported $200 million. Built by Mubadala Development Co., the complex boasts three low-rise buildings in a gated community developed in 2013. It is under a three-year master lease to the Tourism Development & Investment Co. Arcapita has been actively sourcing for new real estate deals within the region, which includes Abu Dhabi. The firm's current focus sectors are residential and logistics. Additionally, on a global basis, Arcapita looks forward to closing a number of real estate and private equity transactions in the coming months.

Emirates Reit first-half property earnings increase

Emirates Reit yesterday posted an 8 per cent rise in first-half earnings generated by its properties, thanks to higher rents and service charge ­income. Revenue between January and June reached US$19.1 million, up 7.9 per cent from $17.7m for the same period last year. Net income grew 6 per cent to $44.7m because of a $31m gain from the revaluation of its properties. The company said its investment properties were valued at $613.4m as of June 30, up 9.6 per cent from $559.7m for the year-earlier period. Emirates Reit has $1.3m of property that is being fitted out. About $344m worth of its investment properties have been mortgaged against Islamic financing facilities.

Middle East investors to spend $15 billion/year in global real estate

An average of $15.0 billion per year will flow out of the Middle East into direct real estate globally in the near term, according to the latest research from global property advisor CBRE Group, Inc. The Middle Eastern investor base has expanded, fuelled by weakening oil prices; this has led to a major shift in global investment strategies towards greater geographic and sector diversification, with activity spreading across gateway markets to second-tier locations in Europe and the Americas. A greater proportion of Middle Eastern capital is now targeting the US. London, while retaining the top position, is no longer as dominant, with a 32 per cent share of all Middle East outbound investment in 2014, compared to 45 per cent in 2013.

pbb provides Sharia compliant investment facility for Sedco

pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank has agreed a € 76 million medium-term refinancing facility for Sedco Capital, advised by LaSalle Investment Management, for a mixed-use portfolio located predominately in Berlin. pbb is acting as sole lender and hedge provider for the facility. The mixed-use portfolio consists of eight German assets with a total lettable area of 65,770 sqm. Four of the largest assets, in terms of value, are located in Berlin and represent 75% of the portfolio's value.

Warba Bank invests in US residential real estate

Warba Bank is one of the initial investors in a US-focused real estate strategy managed by the Wafra Investment Advisory Group, Inc. Warba Bank has announced that the has acquired the commercial office building “The Nathaniel” in New York. Warba Bank’s co-investors include German insurance companies and pension funds. “The Nathaniel” is the first transaction by the fund. The building was completed in September 2014 and is a Class A+ nine story building consisting of 85 residential units with luxurious amenities and 18,000 square feet of retail space. It is fully occupied and located in upmarket area of East Village Manhattan, New York.

Eskan Bank to list first real estate investment trusts in Bahrain

Eskan Bank has appointed Securities & Investment Company (SICO) as lead arranger for the first real estate investment trust (REIT) on the Bahrain Bourse. Eskan Bank 's REIT will consist of two income-generating and unleveraged properties currently owned by Bahrain Property Musharaka Trust (BPMT) which was formed in May 2011, in collaboration with reputable institutional investors and high net worth individuals. As arranger, SICO is responsible for managing the entire process. The Sharia-compliant REIT is expected to have a total value of BD20 million, with a tranche that will be offered to the public through the initial public offering (IPO) that is planned to take place later this year.

Bahrain’s decline as regional financial centre ‘to affect property sector’

Bahrain will not regain its status as the region’s leading financial centre amid fierce competition in the Arabian Gulf, thus hurting its property market, says the latest country report by Business Monitor International (BMI). The country’s historical position as the regional centre for Islamic finance is being challenged by Dubai, while banks in Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been competing strongly against the banking sectors in Bahrain and Dubai, according to the market research company. Even so, Bahrain’s construction sector is set to continue growing at about 3.6 per cent over the next four years, it said. And public sector investment will finance infrastructure projects.

Qatar's Barwa takes $175m refinancing loan

Qatari firm Barwa Real Estate Company, has raised $175m through an Islamic loan from International Bank of Qatar to refinance its existing debt. The sharia-compliant loan will last for seven years from the date that the company draws down on the facility. In an effort to refinance its current debt obligations, Barwa Real Estate intends to increase the lifespan of the maturities on the best available terms, as part of its five-year business plan running between 2016 and 2020. As Qatar’s largest listed developer, Barwa Real Estate reported more than doubling its fourth quarter net profit in March this year, as well as an improved dividend payout for the full year. Barwa Real estate is listed on the Qatar Stock Exchange.

Greece’s asset stripping can lure UAE investors

Some UAE and Gulf travellers are drawing up plans for short visits to Greece this summer, to pick up choice real estate assets on the cheap. Valuations on Greek realty are down to “10 cents to the dollar” from their 2007 peaks. Gulf investors can tick any number of reasons for picking up a Greek real estate deal now, and they need not be high risk-addicts to head that way. There are some choice valuations being offered up for prime assets as cash-strapped Greek developers/investors seek exits. Hospitality related properties figure prominently, as uncertainty shrouds its tourism industry. Barring a few exceptions, asset prices inevitably recover, although the time taken to recover may vary widely.

Eskan Bank as the Provider of Choice for Affordable Housing in the Kingdom of Bahrain

Eskan Bank (EB), established in 1979 and fully owned by the government, has the mandate to provide financing to the low-to-medium-income population segment, specifically to acquire (purchase/construct) a primary residence, and contribute to related property development. During its 36 years of existence, the bank has assisted approximately 35 percent of citizens by providing more than BD 700 million in mortgage financing. With its authorized share capital of BD 400 million and paid-up capital of BD 108.3 million, EB operates under a restricted conventional retail banking license issued and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB). Its total assets at the end of 2014 stood at BD 610.7 million.

MOVES-Gatehouse promotes Will Innes as vice president

London-based investment bank Gatehouse Bank Plc said on Monday it promoted Will Innes as vice president within its real estate investment team. He will work with Will Lowndes, vice president of real estate investment, and will be responsible for sourcing and originating real estate transactions across UK and continental Europe, Gatehouse said. Innes, who joined Gatehouse in January 2014, previously worked at Waypoint Capital where he was responsible for developing international private equity real estate platform.

Middle East investors looking to buy properties in Australia

Middle East investors are increasingly looking at Australia as a destination to expand their real estate portfolios, according to IP Global. A stable economy coupled with strong population growth continues to underpin the property markets in cities such as Brisbane and Melbourne, the property investment firm said in its latest quarterly global real estate outlook. While there are signs that property prices are overheating in traditional investor hot spots like Sydney, pockets of value still exist in suburbs of Brisbane and Melbourne. Paul Preston, Director, Head of EMEA at IP Global, which has offices in the UAE, said that a rising population and big infrastructure spending programs support the outlook for real estate returns in areas beyond the more well-known, traditional investment locations.

Buyout firm Arcapita sells $640m US real estate portfolio

Bahrain-based Islamic investment firm Arcapita said on Wednesday it had sold its real estate portfolio of retirement communities across the United States to NorthStar Healthcare Income Trust for $640 million. The portfolio includes 16 facilities and 4,000 residential units for continuing senior care. Net operating income from the portfolio grew by 41 per cent between 2010 and 2014, despite a slump in the U.S. housing market following the 2008 financial crisis. Abdulmalik said the firm has given $3 billion in exit proceeds to its investors in the last two years but did not give a breakdown of profits for its real estate portfolio exit. In November, Arcapita completed a $100 million fundraising, a little over a year after emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Buyout firm Arcapita sells $640 mln U.S. real estate portfolio

Bahrain-based Islamic investment firm Arcapita said on Wednesday it had sold its real estate portfolio of retirement communities across the United States to NorthStar Healthcare Income Trust for $640 million. The portfolio includes 16 facilities and 4,000 residential units for continuing senior care. Net operating income from the portfolio grew by 41 percent between 2010 and 2014, despite a slump in the U.S. housing market following the 2008 financial crisis. Abdulmalik said the firm has given $3 billion in exit proceeds to its investors in the last two years but did not give a breakdown of profits for its real estate portfolio exit. In November, Arcapita completed a $100 million fundraising, a little over a year after emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy driven by debt repayment difficulties.

Knight Frank releases 2015 Dubai Real Estate Investment Report

Against a backdrop of low interest rates globally and relatively volatile financial markets regionally, the flow of capital into real estate has continued, according to the latest Dubai Real Estate Investment Report released by Knight Frank. Developed property markets such as those of the UK and Europe should continue to see strong levels of demand from GCC investors. Knight Frank’s Middle East Capital Tracker – which monitors professional real estate investors’ favoured global destinations – shows that the UK remains a firm favourite for almost 60 per cent of investors from this region. The GCC itself, as well as Continental Europe, also rank highly.

Seera Invests in UK Dementia Care Housing Development

Bahrain-based Seera Investment Bank B.S.C. has announced the successful completion of a new transaction in the UK Dementia Care sector. The transaction comprises a Shari'a compliant equity investment in a dementia care focused housing development in London, United Kingdom. The development, the first of its kind, when completed will provide circa 115 housing units providing specialized care to dementia sufferers. The project will be developed over a 3 to 4 year period. The units are expected to be sold over the development period with distribution of substantially all the originally invested capital in the 4th year of investment together with a part of the profits. Upon completion of the development the project will then be held to benefit from the ongoing care revenues.

QIB-UK offers investment solution for London properties

QIB-UK is providing opportunities for customers interested to invest in the London real estate market starting with providing access to properties, both residential and commercial ones. A team of real estate specialists will ensure that customers, being continuously supported by QIB Private Banking Relationship Managers stationed in Doha, are able to achieve optimal return on their investments. Recently, QIB added Knight Frank, a global property adviser company established in London back in 1896 to its partners. Customers can now visit QIB’s website to find specific property listings, along with information on locations and prices. They can then submit an online request form indicating properties of their interest to be contacted by the QIB-UK real estate team.

Gatehouse acquires UK student accommodation property

London-based Gatehouse Bank plc has announced the acquisition of Fountainbridge, a student accommodation property located in Edinburgh, United Kingdom, from Rockspring Property Investment Managers LLP UK Value fund for £20.0 million. The property is a modern, purpose-built student accommodation asset with a total of 331 bedrooms, centrally located to the University of Edinburgh, Herriot-Watt, Napier and Queen Margaret universities. The investment follows the firm's successful realisation of four investments comprising over 1,600 beds with a combined value in excess of £100 million, completed last year. The firm is currently considering other investments in the UK student accommodation sector.

Gatehouse Bank completes £17.92 million financing of UK industrial estate

Gatehouse Bank plc has announced the completion of terms to provide £17.92 million of senior financing following the recent acquisition of a UK industrial estate by Saudi Arabia's SEDCO Capital. Palmer Capital is acting as the Investment Manager to SEDCO Capital which through this venture intends to deploy £100 million into UK real estate over the next 12 months through this venture. This transaction is the first such transaction for this programme, which will target the recovering office and industrial real estate market in the UK. The funding supports the acquisition of Blakelands Industrial Estate, an industrial estate in Milton Keynes.

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