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IIB launches new investment in prime Beirut property
International Investment Bank (IIB), a globally-focused investment bank based in Bahrain, today announced the launch of a mixed-use real estate investment opportunity in a prime location in the heart of Beirut, Lebanon.
Bahrain: Tuesday, June 13 - 2006
The Bank is offering the private placement of an 81,25% equity stake in the 29-storey Grand Tower, which will be built on a plot of land in Beirut's dynamic Central Business District, overlooking Martyr's Square. The total project cost will be approximately US$25 million, and investors are being offered a projected Return on Investment of 54% over an anticipated three year investment period. The transaction has been structured in accordance with Islamic Shari'ah.
'IIB is delighted to announce its latest real estate investment as we continue to seek out markets with strong growth potential. Lebanon is rapidly re-establishing itself as a leading tourism and business hub in the Middle East region, and we are confident that this is the right time to invest in its further growth,'said Mr. Aabed Al Zeera, Chief Executive Officer of IIB.
The real estate sector, in particular, is already reaping the benefits of this renewed economic activity, with demand for land and property prices at their highest in recent years and continuing their upward trend.
Lebanon's real estate boom is being driven in part by leading GCC financial institutions, such as IIB, which are directing considerable investment into large scale residential, tourism and retail projects in Beirut. Additionally, demand for temporary and permanent residences in Beirut from around the Middle East and abroad is also contributing to ongoing growth. 'The Grand Tower, with its small to mid-size apartments, targets the middle income local Lebanese population, which constitutes a fast-expanding market segment, as well as Lebanese expatriates and GCC nationals,' said Mr. Al Zeera. IIB's Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Salah Nooruddin, stressed IIB's commitment to a strategic approach to investing, which is based on effective portfolio diversification across different geographic markets and asset classes, rigorous due diligence and a commitment to growing the business in a sound and sustainable manner. 'Through our technical partnerships with a number of strategic financial institutions, IIB is also focused on investing in tangible assets, such as the Grand Tower, which provide a stable investment while also offering capital growth potential,' said Mr. Nooruddin. 'We have selected the Grand Tower, after having screened several opportunities in the Beirut real estate market, for several important reasons, such as its elevated site, which gives it a dominant view over Martyr's Square, the fact that it caters for mid-market buyers, and finally the track record of Iqarat Lubnan, our partner in this project, in the Beirut market, which gives us an additional comfort that the completed project will meet the expectations of our investors,' commented Mr. Mohamed Hadi Mejai, Director of Investment and Business Development. This is the third property-related investment offering to be made by the Bank so far this year. IIB is confident that this deal will be oversubscribed, as some of its key investors have already expressed their intention to invest in the Grand Tower, as well as interest in owning one of its apartments. Earlier this year, IIB enjoyed a heavy oversubscription of its second landmark commercial tower development in the Business Bay District of Dubai.
The Bank also partnered two major institutions in the establishment of a new real estate development company in Saudi Arabia.
Other strategic investments of IIB include a significant shareholding in the European Islamic Investment Bank, the first independent Islamic investment bank which has recently received authorization from the Financial Services Authority in the UK, a stake in an independent power company that operates 13 power plants in China, Taiwan and Korea, and other diverse investments in the UK, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.
IIB recently announced its 2006 first quarter net profit of US$3.54 million, which was a five-fold increase over the profit recorded for the same period last year. The Q1 2006 net profit also represented just over 50% of the 2005 full year net profit of US$7 million.
IIB's strong performance is setting the stage for an increase in the Bank's current paid-up capital of US$43 million, which is expected to take place during the second half of 2006.
About International Investment Bank
International Investment Bank B.S.C. (IIB) was incorporated in Bahrain in October 2003 as an Islamic investment bank, with an authorised capital of US$200 million and a paid up capital of US$43 million. The Bank's shareholders are high net worth individuals, business houses and institutions from the GCC states.
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This story was posted by Anne-Birte Stensgaard, Senior News Editor
Tuesday, June 13 - 2006 at 16:58 UAE local time (GMT+4)