Al Salam launches Asian real estate fund
Dubai, March 4, 2014
Al Salam Bank-Bahrain (ASBB) said it has launched the world's first Asian real estate investment trust (REIT) fund that invests along Sharia principles.
ASBB is the sponsor and seed investor for the Al Salam Asia REIT Fund, which will be managed by B&I Capital AG, a pioneer in Asian REIT investments, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
The fund's portfolio will consist of 15 to 35 positions, diversified through active country and sub-sector allocation within the Asian REIT asset class. Each position will be equally-weighted, rebalanced and reviewed as part of the risk management process, it stated.
A REIT enjoys tax privileges and allows investors to have access to multi-class real estate properties.
ASBB deputy chief executive Dr Anwar Khalifa Al Sadah said the goal of the fund is to give investors a long-term, superior risk-adjusted total return through a combination of high, stable, and growing dividends as well as a significant opportunity for capital appreciation.
"The fund aims to deliver benefits of diversified real estate ownership in Asia while avoiding many of the pitfalls of holding physical property and real estate developer equities," Dr Al Sadah said.
B&I Capital managing partner Christian Bernasconi said the company believed Asian REIT risk-adjusted returns will continue to be superior to other asset classes.
"Demographics and growth combined with pro-REIT regulation in many Asian countries will continue to support the demand for products like this one," he added.
ASBB was an anchor investor into Sabana Industrial REIT, the world's first real estate investment trust adopting Sharia compliance standards widely accepted in the GCC.
"The Al Salam Asia REIT Fund is another example of our bank's dedication to developing innovative products for our clients and commitment to being a pioneer in the Islamic banking space," Dr Al Sadah added.
"The role of the Central Bank of Bahrain in promoting and facilitating the launch of the fund has been invaluable, and for this we are grateful."
Ohad Trust, Bahrain is the fund custodian and administrator, and Maples Secretaries the corporate secretary.-TradeArabia News Service