The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), the Number One Bank in the UAE, today announced that it’s new wholly owned subsidiary NBAD Investment Management (DIFC) Limited has been authorized by the Dubai Financial Services Authority. NBAD Investment Management (DIFC) Limited plans to launch a real estate investment fund which will focus on high quality income-generating properties in the UAE.
In addition to NBAD, other strategic partners in the fund include Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC), which is the only pan GCC multi-lateral investment institution owned entirely and equally by the six GCC countries. GIC has more than 28 years of track record investing in the region and has lead, initiated & participated in investments and projects with total value of 30 billion dollars.
“We are delighted to partner with GIC who share our vision to develop the region’s real estate markets and the opportunities currently existing in the sector,” said Mahmood Al Aradi, the Senior General Manager of NBAD’s Financial Markets Division and Director of NBAD Investment Management (DIFC) Limited. “In the future it is our intention to bring this fund to an initial public offering (IPO), thereby creating - what we expect to be - the region’s first publicly-traded REIT.”
This fund reflects NBAD's positive outlook on the prospects of the UAE real estate sector as well as NBAD’s innovative approach in launching new services and products to enhance investors’ options and contribute to developing the UAE markets to a world class level.
Dr. Russell Read, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of GIC, commented: “The UAE real estate market offers untapped potential, as this opportunity seeks compelling income and long term preservation and capital appreciation through targeted investments in commercial real estate. We have full confidence in our partnership, with NBAD. Due to GIC’s capability and knowledge in the investment world, we feel we can add value to the overall investment process.”
The board of the new NBAD's subsidiary includes senior executives which demonstrates the bank’s commitment to the venture. Zain Abdullah has been appointed Senior Executive Officer of NBAD Investment Management (DIFC) Limited.
“Real estate is an important alternative asset class for investors globally. We believe that this fund will offer regional and international institutional investors a diversified avenue to access the UAE real estate market within a strong regulatory environment,” stated Mr. Abdullah. “In addition to generating significant long term income for investors, this initiative will attract a new class of institutional investors adding to the real estate sector’s liquidity and professionalism. The fund will focus on commercial and logistics infrastructure assets.”
The property manager and real estate advisor to the fund manager are Abu Dhabi National Properties (ADNP), the real estate arm and subsidiary of NBAD, and Knight Frank, the leading independent global property consultancy who have a strategic partnership with ADNP, to provide residential and commercial property services both domestically and globally.