Gulf Islamic Investments plans to invest $600m

27 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

DUBAI: Gulf Islamic Investments, a Dubai-based financial services company, aims to boost its property holdings and step up its private equity investment this year as the global economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

The company will spend between $300 million and $400 million to acquire property in the Gulf, Europe and the US and will invest $200m in the private equity space in India and Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Alhassan, founding partner and co-chief executive, told The National, report agencies.

“We have assets under management of $2 billion and we are trying to reach $1bn more until the end of the year ... this includes real estate and private equity,” he said.

GII invests in sectors such as property, private equity and venture capital. Its clients include family offices, banks, institutions, sovereign wealth funds and wealthy private investors in the GCC and Asia.

It is regulated by the Securities and Commodities Authority.

The company bought a residential block in London’s West End for £60m ($83.3m) this month and another property in Paris for $300m in March. It is in the process of buying a commercial property in Florida and the deal will be finalised in the second quarter of this year, Mr Alhassan said. He did not disclose any more details about the investment.

GII has invested $1.2bn in the property sector over the past seven years, acquiring residential, commercial and industrial buildings in Dubai, the UK, France and the US.

The company bought an office building in the US state of Pennsylvania for $48m, an Amazon distribution centre in Germany for $144m and an Airbus property in Newport, Wales, for £30m. It also bought Realogy’s headquarters in New Jersey for $124m.

It also acquired a police station in Chelsea, west London, for redevelopment three years ago for an undisclosed amount.

In the UAE, it owns logistics centres and staff accommodation in Dubai Investment Park. The company is also the largest investor in Dubai e-commerce company Mumzworld.

GII will finance new deals through “our own balance sheet and syndicating it to our shareholders as well”, said Mr Alhassan.

The company has no plans to approach the bond market but will look to borrow money from banks in the future, he said.

“We have a strong relationship with local banks, as well as international banks, and we have transacted with them for almost half a billion dollars in terms of loans for our assets in the past seven years.”

In the private equity space, the company intends to invest in India and Saudi Arabia. In India, it will focus on the healthcare, technology and consumer sectors through its “India growth portfolio”, which is worth $60m.

“This is our second portfolio [in India]. We have already invested in health care. We own about 20 per cent to 25 per cent of four chain hospitals.”

GII is searching for “niche opportunities” in food manufacturing and other sectors in the kingdom.