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Saturday, 3 October 2009

US firm plans $1bn property lifeline

An announcement that a US-based developer and investor is planning to buy up heavily discounted properties from desperate owners and developers through a new distressed asset fund could have a major impact on property markets in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, its senior executive said.

Hines Interests said the fund would be the largest of its kind to launch in the UAE and could help some stalled developers to proceed with their projects.

J├╝rgen Herre, the head of the Middle East and North Africa region for Hines, said the company would aim to raise between US$250 million (Dh918m) and $500m from regional funds and investors, which would have “about $1 billion worth of firing power with leverage” – combined debt and equity – for distressed properties in the UAE and possibly the wider region. The money could be used to make between eight and 12 large investments.

Tasweek in talks to buy assets in Dubai districts

Tasweek Real Estate Marketing and Development, Abu Dhabi's leading property advisor as well as solutions provider, has informed that it is in discussions to purchase assets in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) as well as Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR).

The sources informed that the conglomerate wants to make a real estate investment portfolio worth $250 million (about Dh918 million) having key Dubai as well as Abu Dhabi projects over the coming 18 months.

The sources further informed that the company intends to buy properties in free zones as well investment zones in Dubai and Abu Dhabi within the coming few months.
As per official sources, Dubai Marina, JBR as well as DIFC in Dubai and Reem Island, Al Raha Beach, and Building Material City in Abu Dhabi are the locations being eyed by Tasweek. The targeted buy outs are likely to produce a return on investment of at least 10 per cent.

Recently, Tasweek has inked management and marketing consultancy memoranda of understanding with independent management and technology consulting firm RQ Associates and strategic marketing, communication and training consultancy IK Consult. The MoUs form part of Tasweek's strategy of proving a one-stop store for real estate as well as related services and marketing.END

London lures Mideast buyers

Middle Eastern investors have become the main foreign buyers in the UK's commercial real estate market, according to property agents.

While lower oil prices have damped their overall appetite for overseas transactions, Arab investors in the first half of 2009 refocused on London, their traditional overseas base, snapping up prime assets at prices that had reached 25-year lows.

Global property agent Jones Lang LaSalle says 43 per cent of overseas investments in UK hotel, office and retail property deals came from Middle Eastern investors, lured back to the market as yields doubled with the falling asset values of properties in the City and West End.