Arab Bank, Saraya Holdings launch $250 million Saraya Real Estate MENA Fund
Saraya Holdings Limited, a DIFC registered company and Arab Bank plc have launched the Saraya Real Estate Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Fund, a closed-end, Bahraini fund managed by Atlas Investment Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Arab Bank plc.
The Fund is a flagship real estate product for Saraya and Arab Bank designed to capitalize on the unprecedented growth and development sweeping the region reflected in the high demand for real estate and tourism, products and services.
The Fund seeks to raise $250 million through issuing 2,500 units with a par value of $100,000 per unit, of which Saraya Holdings and Arab Bank have committed to provide a seed capital of $50 million ($25 million each).
Saraya Holdings Chairman, Sheikh Saad Hariri, said “it is the right time to be investing in the region.” He expressed confidence in the successful launch of the Saraya Real Estate MENA Fund, at a time when the region “is going through an impressive economic invigoration, particularly in the real estate and tourism sectors.” He added that, “the Fund's investment objective is to generate income and capital gains from investing primarily in Saraya’s real estate and tourism projects, in addition to other projects in a number of locations in the region.”
Arab Bank Chairman and CEO, Mr. Abdel Hamid Shoman, said “the Saraya Real Estate MENA Fund offers a unique and unparalleled opportunity to regional and international investors, who are specifically interested in the region's booming real estate and tourism sectors.” Shoman added that “investment in the MENA region will enhance diversification and improve portfolio returns.”
The Saraya Real Estate MENA Fund will primarily invest in real estate and tourism projects through direct equity investment, with an initial focus on countries in the GCC and the Levant. Saraya Real Estate Development Group (SDG), acting as Property Adviser to the Fund, will provide advisory, structuring and management services to the projects being considered by the Fund. Atlas Investment Group, with offices in Amman and Dubai, will act as the investment manager.
SDG is a real estate development adviser, program manager and asset manager, with offices in Amman and Dubai. Managed by a group of highly-qualified real estate and finance professionals, SDG’s scope of services encompasses overall project and program management and includes technical, financial, commercial, and marketing services. SDG will also supervise the work of specialist consultants in the areas of market research, architecture, urban planning, engineering, communications, and capital raising.
Atlas Investment Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arab Bank plc and its Investment Banking arm, is one of the oldest, full-fledged investment banking firms in the MENA region. Serving institutional, corporate, government, and individual clients, Atlas offers a full range of financial services in the areas of corporate finance, asset management, brokerage, and research. The Asset Management team at Atlas, a leading regional investment manager, provides a range of portfolio management services and investment products. The Asset Management team has built an impressive track record, wherein it has consistently outperformed regional benchmarks.
The Saraya Real Estate MENA Fund will be placed with institutional and individual investors through Arab Bank’s Global Wealth Management & Private Banking Group. The Fund is targeting institutional and individual investors, with long-term investment horizons.
© 2006 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)