Locally-based Islamic institution International Investment Bank (IIB)plans to make an initial public offering (IPO) of shares in its Bahrain Property Fund in the first quarter of 2006. IIB will list 100 per cent of the $40 million fund, which will be the first real estate fund to be traded on the Bahrain Stock Exchange.
Shares are expected to list above the fund unit price of BD 10 ($26.5). The fund has invested in five properties in Bahrain, which include residential, retail and office complexes, and pays an annual 7 per cent dividend. IIB has also launched a $53 million real estate company with a paid-up capital of $26 million. Investors include high net worth individuals and institutions from the GCC. The company, which will develop residential and retail properties across the region, is expected to double its authorised capital at the beginning of 2007. 'We have noticed a steady boom in real estate in the GCC. While prices are rising they are still buoyant,' says IIB chief executive officer Aabed al-Zeera. 'In Bahrain there is a 40,000 residential property shortage and it keeps growing by 4,000 units a year. We try to satisfy that gap.' The company will focus on providing housing to middle-income residents.