Bahrain's US$250 million Financial Centre project moves forward
Bahrain Financial Harbour (BFH) Sunday announced that it has engaged the Bahrain-based Liquidity Management Centre B.S.C. (LMC) for assisting in the financing of the development of the first phase of the visionary project - the US$250 million Financial Centre comprising the Dual Towers, the Financial Mall and the Harbour House.
Addressing a press conference after the signing of the engagement letter, Mr. Esam Janahi, Chairman, BFH said that the appointment of LMC is a significant step forward in the development of the project.
The letter of engagement mandating LMC as the lead arranger and placement agent for the first phase of BFH was signed by Mr. Janahi and Mr Hussain Al-Meeza, Chairman, LMC. “We are confident that our association with LMC, which is committed to promoting Islamic finance and banking sector in the region, will help us raise resources for the development of The Financial Centre in a cost-effective manner from different Islamic asset pools,” Mr. Janahi said.
Commenting on the development, Mr. Hussain Al-Meeza, Chairman, LMC said that LMC is proud to associate with the development of BFH, which will be a prestigious national landmark, attracting investors from across the world.
“LMC, ever since its establishment is now an active player in the secondary market for short-term Sharia’h compliant treasury products across the region and has the capability to arrange Islamic funds of varying risk and return profiles at different tenors. LMC is owned by the Islamic Development Bank, The Kuwait Finance House, Dubai Islamic Bank and Bahrain Islamic Bank with each owning a stake of 25 per cent,” Mr. Al-Meeza said.
“LMC is now playing a salient role in Islamic finance and in the short span of time since its establishment in 2002 under the auspices of Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA), it has carved a niche for itself in the region as a strong Sharia’h-compliant financing intermediary, facilitating the development of an Islamic inter-bank market,” he added.
Mr. Janahi said that LMC will structure the Islamic finance component of the US$250 million raised for the development of the Financial Centre of BFH which is to the tune of US$150 million, while the rest – US$100 million - is in the form of equity that has been raised by Gulf Finance House, financial advisors to the BFH project. He said the funds will be structured according to the principles of Sharia’h.
“LMC is committed to work jointly with BFH, ultimately contributing to the continuing economic development of the Kingdom of Bahrain and enhancing its stature as the hub of Islamic banking, while consolidating its position as the financial centre of the Middle East,” said Mr. Al-Meeza.
“BFH offers a significant, productive and much sought-after investment opportunity to Islamic financial institutions that are saddled with surplus liquidity. We look forward to a long-term relationship with BFH which is a national landmark for Bahrain,” he said.
"We are honoured to have been awarded this mandate, which further proves the continuing importance of Islamic financial institutions in the development of the economies of Islamic countries," Mr. Al –Meeza said.
BFH has recently announced the opening for sale of the Financial Centre with the ownership system devised around `Strata-Titles,’ offering free-hold or lease options to local, regional and international investors. “The response from investors ever since we opened for sale has been excellent and we have confirmed bookings for approximately 35 per cent of the Financial Centre now,” Mr. Janahi said.
BFH awarded the Phase I construction contract to the leading UAE-based regional builder, Al Hamad Contracting Company in March 2004, and work is now in progress ahead of schedule. BFH also recently announced awarding the Phase II reclamation contract, valued at US$26 million, to the Bahrain-based Ahmed Al A’Ali Co. in June this year, signifying the rapid pace at which the unique project is being developed. (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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