Fund 'needed to revive Bahrain property sector'
Manama, January 28, 2013
By Sreekumar K S
Bahrain Financial Harbour (BFH) managing director Dr Omar O Al Mardi has advocated the setting up of a fund for the revival of Bahrain’s property sector.
This fund could be financed through the issue of a sukuk and also supported by the $10-billion GCC Marshall Plan. Ideally the fund would guarantee viable real estate projects based on which banks can finance them, Dr Al Mardi told TradeArabia.
Dr Al Mardi said after the kingdom had shaken off the effects of the global economic crisis, it is seeing a strong period for growth with lots of opportunities for investors.
In line with its goal of meeting its housing requirements, Bahrain is to build thousands of homes over the next five years, worth BD2.1 billion ($5.6 billion), funded primarily by the GCC Marshall Plan, as well as a Kuwait fund and private investors. Under the five-year strategy, 47,000 units will be built through alternative housing programmes in partnership with the private sector, in addition to the hundreds of housing units that are already under construction.
“All these will definitely boost the property sector,” he said.
Another initiative that could revive the property sector is creating joint ventures between the government and the private sector. Such public-private partnerships (PPPs) can result in meaningful projects, he added.
On the advantages that Bahrain has over neighbouring countries, Dr Al Mardi said the kingdom has a central land registry for property that clarifies land ownership, a strong regulatory environment and a range of bench-marked professional services and expertise, independent agencies, and banking and financial systems all recognised internationally. – TradeArabia News Service
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