Markaz launches Markaz Real Estate Opportunities Fund


Markaz announced the launching of Markaz Real Estate Opportunities Fund "MREOF". With an offering size of approximately US$ 200 Million, Markaz as Fund Manager is expecting that the fund would generate a return of 15% per annum over the 5 year life of the Fund. The minimum subscription of units in MREOF is US$ 250,000 at US$ 1 per unit. Based out of the Kingdom of Bahrain, the close-ended Shari'ah compliant fund is opportunistic in nature and will invest predominantly in development projects in various real estate segments in the Middle East and North Africa region. MREOF will benefit from the existing supply-demand imbalance in the regional real estate markets and, through partnership with carefully selected developers, will strive to capture attractive opportunities. The Fund's investor friendly private equity structure will enable it to call investor's capital as and when needed to finance each project and distribute cash returns and redeem the principle amount invested and generated profits upon the completion and exit from each project. So far, MREOF has already secured two residential real estate opportunities in Lebanon, in Clemenceau with an expected IIR of 17%, and in Badaro with an expected IIR of 27%. The Fund is currently in the final stage of negotiations with a Saudi partner to build a large office project in Riyadh, KSA. The Fund is also in the process of securing additional residential projects in Abdoun in Jordan’s capital as well as two hotels in Damascus and Halab in Syria. Overall, Markaz expects MREOF to have an active pipe line of 14 – 18 projects within its first 3 years. Among its many divisions, the Real Estate Division within Markaz offers its clients different types of real estate investment opportunities across the MENA region as well as globally. Since 1978, Markaz has been consistent in its investment philosophy; focusing on acquiring and developing institutional quality properties, in prime locations, and with a clear exit strategy before the closure of a transaction. Real Estate experience at Markaz varies across several functions namely restructuring, raising finance, both debt and equity, and Islamic finance for real estate companies. The team currently consists of eleven professionals, who are continuously engaged, on the field, to find unique opportunities that meet the risk / return objectives of its clients. Currently Markaz manages four real estate funds with over US$ 750 million in assets, encompassing warehouses, office buildings, retail centers, and apartment buildings. We continuously offer our clients innovative and unique investment opportunities in development projects. Markaz believes its success stems from the lasting relationships it builds with its professional partners including real estate brokers, investment banks, property developers, REITS, and lending institutions; they provide it with a unique and proprietary flow of investment opportunities, and as such help it finance and structure its transactions optimally. Kuwait Financial Centre 'Markaz', with total assets under management of over KD1.25 billion (USD 4.3 billion) as of September 30, 2006, was established in 1974 has become one of the leading asset management and investment banking institutions in the Arabian Gulf Region. Markaz was listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) in 1997; and was recently awarded a BBB+ corporate rating by Capital Intelligence Ltd. -Ends- Photo Caption: Bassam N. Al-Othman, Senior Vice President- Real Estate of Kuwait Financial Centre S.A.K, “Markaz”