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Amanie Shariah supervisory board endorses Walton’s land investment product as Shariah-compliant

The Walton Group's Exit-Focused Land investment has been endorsed by the Amanie Shariah Supervisory Board as a Shariah-compliant investment product. Walton’s exit-focused pre-development land investment provides an innovative solution to U.S. public homebuilders as they move to streamline and optimize their land inventory pipelines. Walton is a privately owned, leading global real estate investment, land asset management and administration company that has focused on strategically located land in major growth corridors for 40-plus years. The company manages and administers US$3.39 billion of real estate assets in North America. Walton has more than 104,000 acres of land under ownership, management and administration in the United States and Canada.

Gulf Islamic Investments’ Acquisition of Class A New York Office Building

Gulf Islamic Investments (GII) has announced the acquisition of 140 & 150 Grand Street Plaza, an office building in White Plains, Westchester County, New York, USA on behalf of its investors. Located just 30 minutes away from Manhattan, the Class A office building seats within the urban center of White Plains. The Property is strategically located within one block of the Federal, Supreme, District and County courthouses making it the preferred destination for government-affiliated and law-related tenants. GII is a UAE-based financial services company regulated by the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (ESCA). GII was advised by a cross border Orrick team led by Düsseldorf-based M&A and private equity partner Oliver Duys.

#UAE's Gulf Islamic Investments buys New York office building

Gulf Islamic Investments (GII) has acquired a property in New York, which brings the firm’s US portfolio to more than $230 million. The property is an office building in White Plains, Westchester County, with a leasable area of 220,000 square feet, and is currently over 90% occupied by more than 30 tenants. It is also strategically located, as it’s close to the Federal, Supreme, District and Country courthouses in New York. According to CEO Pankaj Gupta, the global economy continues to signal a low-interest rate regime for the foreseeable future, hence, GII sees that such long income assets can deliver high single-digit returns. He added that GII was exploring such opportunities in Paris real estate market as well, with the view of taking advantage of the impact of Brexit.

Shariah-compliant Qatar First Bank buys Seattle office building for $117 mln as it seeks to overturn losses

Qatar First Bank has acquired a property in Seattle, Washington, USA, for $117 million as it seeks to overturn its 2018 loss of 482 million riyals ($132.38 million). The four-building corporate campus property is fully rented by telco T-Mobile and software company Mindtree. QFB in 2019 exited its investments in several assets including Turkey-based English Home, Kuwait Energy, and Future Industries Holding. It said in October its strategy was to monetise its private equity portfolio and reinvest in more secure assets across politically stable jurisdictions. The bank made a loss of 303.64 million riyals for the nine-month period through Sep 30, 2019. QFB held 2.87 billion riyals in assets at the end of September last year.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank extends $87 million financing for 2 deals in #UK

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) has provided $87 million to help finance two deals in the United Kingdom that are valued more than $200 million. One of the clients is based in Abu Dhabi and plans to refinance a prime central London healthcare facility worth 900 million UAE dirhams ($245 million). The other client is a Bahrain-based company who plans to acquire a logistics hub in Edinburgh worth 55 million UAE dirhams ($15 million). The London property is operated by an international healthcare group. The Edinburgh property, let to Royal Mail, consists of an office facility and a distribution warehouse situated in Scotland.

Saudi SRC buys $67mln mortgage portfolio from Bank Aljazira

The Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company (SRC), a subsidiary of the Saudi Public Investment Fund signed an agreement with Bank Aljazira to buy a SAR 250 million mortgage portfolio. The two entities signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that allows SRC to buy more mortgage portfolios from the bank. SRC seeks to inject more liquidity into the Saudi mortgage sector through the acquisition of mortgage portfolios. Bank Aljazira’s net profit increased by 3.8% to SAR 256.9 million in Q3-19, compared to SAR 247.4 million in Q3-18.

Deyaar and Dubai Islamic Bank to Provide Attractive Home Financing Solutions

UAE real estate developer Deyaar Development has partnered with Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) to benefit from the bank’s attractive and customised home financing solutions. The solutions will enable customers to make full payment on handover of their property through flexible home financing programs, with monthly installments up to 25 years with options to further extend their home payments at competitive rates. Handover of Afnan District, the first of six districts within Deyaar’s Midtown integrated urban development, began in early November. Comprising seven buildings ranging from seven to 16 floors, Afnan District has a total of 659 apartments, including studios, one-, two-, and three-bedrooms, all of which are sold out.

Dubai Islamic Bank partners with Arada to provide home financing solutions

Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) has partnered with Sharjah-based Arada to streamline the home ownership process for buyers of Arada properties. The home financing partnership will allow property buyers to access highly competitive mortgage rates and exclusive flexible payment plans as well as rapid and easy processing without the need for a salary transfer. In the past two years Arada sold over 4,000 units in its two projects, Aljada and Nasma Residences. Construction on Aljada is well under way, with the first homes scheduled to be handed over in the first quarter of 2020. The lender is also opening a kiosk at the Arada sales centre in Sharjah.

#Saudi Arabia's Arbah Capital buys Glasgow's Sauchiehall building

Saudi Arabia-based Arbah Capital has acquired the Sauchiehall building in Glasgow, UK, valued at $76m (SAR285m), through a sharia'a-compliant investment structure. Arbah Capital stated that the acquisition represented a core long term investment and would help attain value at a time of uncertainty in the UK. The investment firm added that the Sauchiehall building aligned with its main strategy to focus on acquisitions of distinctive assets. The mixed-use property is a 2.87ha LG+G+6F structure, and features a multi-storey car park as well. Arbah Capital's CEO Mahmood Al Kooheji says this purchase enhances Arbah’s strategic alliances and relationships which further supports its position as an international gateway into the investment market.

FBNQuest Trustees to Host Islamic Estate Planning Clinic

FBNQuest Trustees is set to host an Islamic Estate Planning Clinic, on the 28th of April, 2019 in Abuja, Nigeria. This forum aims to educate Muslims about the importance of Estate Planning in line with Islamic laws. The Islamic Estate Planning Clinic will be hosted by Mr. Adekunle Awojobi, Managing Director FBNQuest Trustees and facilitated by the renowned Islamic financial Scholar, Dr. Bashir Umar, Imam at Al- Furqan Mosque in Kano. The session will address topics on Islamic Trust (Waqaf), Islamic Will (Wasiyyah), Zakat, Hibah, Takaful, and Sukuk; underscoring the importance of an Islamic plan to Muslims, as highlighted from the Qur’an and its interpretations in the Sunnah and Hadith. FBNQuest Trustees will also share insights on managing conventional Estate Plans, which is targeted at ensuring the preservation of legacies.

Hill International to Provide Project Management for Bank Aljazira Project, Supporting #Saudi Arabia National Vision 2030

Hill International has received a three-year contract from Bank Aljazira to provide project management services for Aljazira’s Regional Management Office Building in Riyadh. The project will be one of Riyadh’s landmarks, reflecting Bank Aljazira’s image and its alignment with the Saudi Arabia National Vision 2030. The project location is planned to be north of the Capital, in the center of new major developments for the next 20 years. Hill International provides program management, project management, construction management and other consulting services to clients in a variety of market sectors. According to Engineering News-Record magazine, Hill International is the eighth-largest construction management firm in the United States.

Bricklane receives Shariah accreditation for its residential property investment #funds

Bricklane’s funds have been certified as compliant by the Shariah Committee of Minarah Consulting chaired by Sheikh Faizal Manjoo. Through Bricklane’s online platform, individuals can invest flexibly in geographically focussed funds that buy and let residential properties, one focussed on London, and another on the Regional Capitals of Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham. Available through ISAs and SIPPs, and with Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) tax status, it is the most tax-efficient way to invest in UK residential property. Performance for the Bricklane funds has been strong in both absolute and relative terms, with the Regional Capitals fund returning 8.7% to investors in its first year, and its London fund returning 10% at its first anniversary in July 2018.

RHB Bank #Singapore seals world's largest Islamic hotel financing deal

RHB Bank's Singapore branch completed the world’s largest Islamic bilateral hotel financing deal with the Royal Group, for a five-star luxury hotel valued at S$300mil (RM888.72mil). RHB Bank explained the rarity value of this deal was that hospitality-related assets were used for Islamic financing, which in the past was considered taboo as not all income is deemed to be Shariah compliant. RHB Bank Singapore head of Islamic banking Nazmi Camalxaman said RHB Bank Singapore was focusing on a niche and targeted market for Islamic financing. He pointed out that for the first time in five years, the government is expected to launch a site for hotel rooms as part of its Government Land Sales (GLS) programme in September 2018 amid a positive tourism outlook.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Funds $32.2 Million Deal Of A #UK Property

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) UK, has arranged a Sharia’a-compliant transaction to finance the acquisition of Lateral House, located in Leeds, UK. The deal involves a sum of $32.2 million on behalf of an Abu Dhabi-based private banking client. Earlier this year the bank arranged the acquisition of The Hub, located at the Aztec West Business Park, Bristol, for $43.4 million on behalf of a private Saudi based client. Lateral House is a modern Grade A office building providing 95,317 square feet of net lettable commercial office space. ADIB was the first UAE-based bank providing Islamic financial services to be licensed to operate in the UK. Today, it is just one of six banks in the UK providing Sharia-compliant services.

GII Islamic REIT acquires $32mln office in Dubai

GII Islamic REIT has acquired an AED 117.54 million two-floor office property in Downtown Dubai developed by Emaar Properties. The property is under a lease agreement with a global professional services firm, whose term will end after three years. The property was sold in consideration of $32 million with gross yields of around 8%. According to Mohammed AlHassan, CEO of GII, this is a high-quality acquisition for the REIT, and is consistent with GII REIT’s strategy to distribute 8% annual dividend to investors net of all costs.

UK taxation needs to accommodate Shariah compliant #real estate refinancing

For well over a decade, the UK has been amending its tax laws for Islamic finance. The goal is to ensure that Islamic finance transactions are not taxed more heavily, or more lightly, than their conventional finance equivalents. In a diminishing musharaka transaction a property is being sold twice, once by the individual to the bank and then by the bank back to the individual. Countries that charge tax on transfers of real estate will typically do so for both sales. Furthermore, the individual has sold for $750,000 a property that cost him $100,000, so if the country taxes gains arising on the sale of property, the individual can expect to be taxed on the $650,000 gain. In the United Kingdom, the real estate transfer tax charges were eliminated. However, the capital gains tax charge triggered by the sale remains in the case of sales to Islamic banks. The UK’s Chartered Institute of Taxation has now proposed that the gain on the Islamic financing transaction described above should not be taxed.

Matrix Concepts, #Indonesian consortium to jointly develop Islamic financial district in Jakarta

Malaysian property developer Matrix Concepts is teaming up with an Indonesian consortium to jointly develop an Islamic financial district in Jakarta. Matrix entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bangun Kosambi Sukses (BKS) and Nikko Sekuritas Indonesia (NSI) for the joint development dubbed PIK 2 Sedayu Indo City. Matrix said the proposed development was initiated by the Indonesian government in its quest to position itself as an Islamic financial hub. PIK 2 Sedayu Indo City will encompass 1,000ha of land complete with residential houses, apartments, shopping centres, a light rail transit system, and a stadium.

La Francaise launches sharia-compliant #real estate account

La Francaise Forum Securities (FS) has launched its sharia-compliant real estate securities separately managed account. The account has been developed for an unnamed Islamic investment manager based in Kuwait. La Francaise FS will select securities with an above average risk adjusted total return to form a portfolio of 30 to 50 stocks. According to Jana Sehnalova, managing director of La Française FS, the account is designed for institutional investors with an Islamic finance focus. She said that La Francaise FS was investigating the viability of developing a fund based on the same strategy as part of the existing product line managed by Groupe La Francaise.

Bidaya Home Finance Issues Plans for Selling Islamic #Sukuk Bonds

Bidaya Home Finance revealed plans to sell Islamic sukuk bonds worth 500 million SAR. Bidaya Home Finance hired the services of Ashmore Investment Saudi Arabia to arrange the program.

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