Venturing into real estate

18 May 2006
Newly-formed Commercial Venture Real Estate Company expects to finalise its first investment in the third quarter of 2006. The Bahrain-based company will invest in a residential project in northern Bahrain. The company was established in April to participate in social housing projects in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, concentrating on the GCC. 'The Arab world has a young population and disposable incomes are not as high as they used to be,' says Commercial Venture director Sharif Monfaradi. 'In North Africa, living standards are below the rest of the Arab world. Social and affordable housing is in demand.'

The company will establish a separate subsidiary for each project it invests in and will raise capital from its shareholders. Venture Capital Bank (VC Bank) has a 50 per cent stake in Commercial Venture and leads a consortium of shareholders which includes Kuwaiti companies Commercial Real Estate Company with a 20 per cent stake, Securities Group and Industrial Investments Company, each with 10 per cent, and Kuwait Parks Company and Commercial Complexes Company, each with 5 per cent.

Adwan al-Adwani is chairman, Abul Latif Mohammed Janahi is deputy chairman and other directors include Tawfiq al-Jarrah, Ahmed al-Jawhary and Abdul Aziz Ebrahim al-Moussa.

Commercial Ventures will also invest in Asaf Real Estate Company under formation in Saudi Arabia with a capital of SR 300 million ($80 million). VC Bank holds a majority stake in Asaf, which will invest in social housing projects in the kingdom.

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