Bassam N. Al-Othman
Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz) has been named the ‘Mena Real Estate Asset Manager of the Year’ for 2021 by Global Investor, which recognises outstanding performance in the real estate sector. It also recognises asset management, fund administration, and wealth management, among many others.
The coveted honour recognises Markaz’s excellence in serving institutions and individuals seeking to unlock the investment potential of real estate asset classes in the region, operating at the highest industry standards, under the oversight of the Capital Markets Authority (CMA).
Markaz brings over 30 years of experience in the real estate sector globally and regionally, with 18 years of actively managing real estate assets across the Mena region. Markaz manages real estate assets of c. KD 300 million in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE real estate through funds and client-tailored portfolios.
Notably, Markaz manages the Kuwait Investment Authority’s (KIA) National Real Estate Portfolio in addition to Markaz Real Estate Fund (MREF) and Markaz Gulf Real Estate Fund (MGREF), a private placement fund. Ever since its inception in 2003, MREF, a KD70 million ($231 million) Shariah-compliant income-generating fund investing in Kuwait income properties, has been distributing monthly cash dividends, which stands now at 5%, and generating an unlevered IRR (internal rate of return) of 7.5% p.a. (Latest factsheet detailing information on the fund is available on Markaz website www.markaz.com).
MGREF invests in residential, commercial and industrial income-generating properties in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait and distributes monthly cash dividends to investors.
Commenting on this achievement, Bassam N. Al-Othman, Managing Director, Mena Real Estate at Markaz said: “We are delighted to have received ‘Mena Real Estate Asset Manager of the Year’ award, which represents an acclaimed recognition of our commitment to providing our clients with solid investment opportunities.”
Al-Othman added: “Markaz’s unique ability to bring added value to real estate assets stems from the distinguished strength of our solid team of 27 professionals, who are stationed in Kuwait and in our regional offices in Riyadh and Khobar since 2006, as well as in Dubai and Abu Dhabi since 2010, providing in-depth local market insight, our best-in-class policies and procedures, and our advanced technology platforms for enhanced financial and operating reporting.”
Markaz unleashes added value by acquiring properties based on research to identify targeted sectors and geographical asset allocation, taking into account market insights, trends, supply/demand and risks, and while also managing acquisition risk through thorough legal, technical, operational and commercial due diligence on target properties. It also works closely with property managers to enhance the performance of assets by optimising rent levels, increasing rent collection rates and efficiency, and improving occupancy, rent levels and tenant retention, as well as managing expenses and maintaining the properties.
Luke Jeffs, Managing Editor of Global Investor, said: “The Markaz Real Estate Fund sets the benchmark in the Middle East region. The low bar to entry, enabling smaller investors to participate, the monthly dividend and the open-ended nature of the fund have continued to its ongoing success, while Markaz’s innovative approach to tenant retention has further contributed to the success of this best-in-class real estate fund.”
Markaz’s excellence and market-leading performance in asset management, investment banking, real estate investment, and wealth management have been recognised by more than 50 prestigious awards since its inception. In 2021, it was named the ‘Best Investment Bank in Kuwait’ by Global Finance Magazine for the 10th time in 11 years.-- TradeArabia News Service