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Al Salam acquires London building

MANAMA: Al Salam Bank-Bahrain yesterday announced an investment in a prime real estate office building in London.

The seven-storey 200,000 plus square feet Milton Gate building was acquired in an off-the-market transaction in partnership with the privately owned investment banking and private equity group Evans Randall.

The landmark building is located in the financial district of the City of London in the close proximity of the Bank of England and among other prestigious financial institutions including JPMorgan and UBS and solicitors Slaughter & May and Linklaters.

UBS Triton Fund, the seller, comprehensively refurbished the building between 2005 and 2007 in conjunction with Exempler Properties to create a high quality, contemporary City headquarters building.

The building has a strong rent covenant with a single party tenant, Addleshaw Goddard, one of the UK leading firm of solicitors with a 5A 1 credit rating from Dun & Bradstreet.

Milton Gate is a well-let building on a long term non-cancellable lease of 15 years.

"This is a significant achievement for the bank in a market where both liquidity and financing is difficult. The bank is pleased to present this high yielding investment opportunity," Al Salam Bank-Bahrain director and chief executive officer Yousif Abdulla Taqi said.

"This investment opportunity has capitalised on the favourable market conditions in the London commercial real estate sector with a view to creating value through compression of initial yields in the medium term," he said.

Al Salam Europe Limited chief executive officer Mohammed Paracha said: "This Sharia-compliant investment will provide attractive cash on cash yields of not less than 10 per cent per annum, in addition to the potential of generating capital gains for our investors upon exit. We look forward to bringing further private equity and real estate transactions across Europe to our investors, capitalising on the favourable conditions for overseas investors at this time."



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