PineBridge Investments, a New York-based asset manager, said on Tuesday its Middle East unit had raised $140 million for a sharia-compliant fund that would invest in income-producing real estate assets in Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
PineBridge Investments Middle East’s fund will acquire existing real estate assets that generate stable returns, with a focus on the logistics, social infrastructure and community retail sectors, chief executive Talal Al Zain told Reuters.
Al Zain, a former chief executive of Bahraini sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat who set up PineBridge’s regional headquarters in Manama two years ago, said he expected the fund to have a final closing of $200 million.
After crashing during the global financial crisis several years ago, many real estate markets in the GCC, which comprises Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain, are recovering strongly.
Heavy demand from cash-rich Islamic investors is prompting asset managers in the region to make many of their new products in the region sharia-compliant, meaning they obey religious principles such as a ban on interest payments.