Bank Muscat real estate fund Izdihar announces first transaction

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The Izdihar Real Estate Fund managed by Bank Muscat announced its first acquisition of a new mixed use property at Azaiba. A ceremony was held to mark the formalisation of the transaction between the bank and Al Habib & Co. LLC, in the presence of AbdulRazak Ali Issa, Chief Executive of Bank Muscat, and top Management Team members from both institutions.

Sulaiman Al Yahyai, Chairman of Izdihar’s Board of Directors, complimented the Bank Muscat and Al Habib teams who worked in closing the transaction amidst challenging market conditions. Al Yahyai said: “The transaction with Al Habib represents the first investment by Izdihar and fulfils its objective of generating sustainable and attractive long-term returns through investment in income generating real estate assets. Benefits of the investment transaction by Izdihar include superior asset selection, astute investment structuring and professional property management. Long-term property management and assured leasing arrangement with Al Habib ensures that the interests of Izdihar’s investors are protected against market risks.”

Ali Mallalah Habib Lawati, Chairman of Al Habib & Co LLC, said: “The transaction with Izdihar is a remarkable achievement in challenging times. Al Habib and Izdihar have come together in an arrangement which leverages each other’s strengths and risk- taking capabilities, resulting in healthy and long-term gains for all stakeholders. Izdihar, through Bank Muscat’s investment management expertise, provides the much needed professional guidance in the Omani real estate sector. We thank the Bank Muscat team for their professional approach that resulted in the successful closure of the transaction.”

Izdihar Gardens is a modern mixed use building comprising over 200 residential units with retail outlets on the ground floor. Equipped with modern amenities, the property enjoys big appeal.

Izdihar is a closed-ended real estate fund established under the Capital Market Authority, Oman and seeks to generate regular income and long-term capital appreciation through investments in real estate assets. The bank’s Private Equity and Asset Management team has been instrumental in launching the innovative product.

Abdullah Al Hinai, General Manager – Wholesale Banking, congratulated the teams on the achievement. Al Hinai said: “Izdihar is Oman’s first real estate fund structured on Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) principles. Bank Muscat takes pride in pioneering unique offerings and the Fund demonstrates these credentials by providing an opportunity to institutional customers to realise regular income with substantially mitigated risks. We thank Al Habib for partnering with Izdihar on this transaction and are hopeful that this partnership will further prosper in the future.”

Al Hinai added: “Izdihar reflects the bank’s commitment to promote the development of capital markets in Oman. The fund approved by the Capital Market Authority, while generating sustainable and attractive long-term returns for investors, also enables development of the REIT market and contributes to strengthening the real estate sector. We thank the Capital Market Authority and the Central Bank of Oman for their support towards the establishment of Izdihar.”

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) have been in existence since 1960 and are considered a distinct asset class. Modeled after mutual funds, REIT invests in or finances an income producing real estate asset. REITs provide investors with the benefits of professional management, regular income streams, diversification through investments in multiple income earning properties across segments and long-term capital appreciation.

Izdihar received good response in the initial fund raising round despite the challenging market conditions. With the closure of this transaction, Izdihar will seek additional commitments from existing and new investors to capitalise on attractive investment opportunities.


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