BLME seals $48m property finance deal
Manama, January 8, 2009
The Bank of London and The Middle East (BLME) yesterday announced the successful completion of a £31.5 million ($47.5m) finance transaction for Premio Group Holdings.
BLME arranged and funded the three-year transaction to refinance Premio's property portfolio in Mayfair, London.
Under the terms of the agreement, the owner can draw and repay the facility to manage its property portfolio over the term of the funding using fixed-term tranches.
This is the first Islamic finance transaction completed by Premio Group Holdings.
Premio Group Holdings is a joint venture between Chelsfield Partners and Rollpost established in December 2005. Premio owns over 50,000 square feet of prime residential and commercial property in London's Mayfair.
'We are happy to have worked with BLME on our first Sharia funding and we look forward to having an association with them in the future,' said Chesterfield Partners chairman Ellior Bernerd.
The Premio transaction marks a further prime central London real estate transaction for BLME, following its launch as a standalone Sharia-compliant wholesale bank in July 2007.
'Successfully completing this transaction with Premio in what are extremely challenging market conditions is a great achievement for both parties,' said BLME chief executive officer Humphrey Percy.
'Despite the pressure that the property market is under, we believe there are excellent opportunities to provide financing for companies with strong management and robust assets.
'With the strength of Chelsfield's property portfolio, BLME is delighted to be involved in this funding to help the company achieve its strategic growth plans.
'For BLME as a business this is further testament that we are gaining traction as financiers of choice to companies that have never used Islamic finance before.'-TradeArabia News Service