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Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), the emirate’s biggest Sharia-compliant lender, arranged structured Islamic financing for the acquisition of an office property in the UK on behalf of a client in Saudi Arabia.
ADIB’s client bought The Hub, the regional UK office of global engineering firm Atkins, located at Aztec West Business Park in Bristol, for £19.35 million ($27 million), the bank said in a statement on Thursday.
The structure of the Islamic financing for the deal was “bespoke” to the client, the bank said, providing no further details. The deal is part of a trend of rising demand among ADIB’s Arabian Gulf clients for UK real estate.
“We have witnessed an increase in demand among our GCC-based clients seeking to diversify their portfolios into UK real estate, with a particular interest in investments offering long-term secure income both in London but increasingly in the regions, with strong market fundamentals and higher yields,” said Paul Maisfield, head of UK real estate at ADIB UK.
The Hub building has been awarded a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating, the UK’s most widely used environmental assessment for buildings, and carbon emissions are more than a third lower than expected for a building of its size, according to ADIB.
“We are very pleased to be supporting the acquisition of this high-quality asset,” Mr Maisfield said. “We have established a strong platform for further business in the UK as we build out our portfolio of financing assets across the UK.”
ADIB opened its UK office at One Hyde Park in London in May 2012, and was the first UAE-based bank providing Islamic financial services to be licensed to operate in the UK, and one of only six of those that are fully Sharia-compliant, it added.
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