17 July 2008
UK property market remains the market of choice for Middle Eastern investors
International law firm Trowers & Hamlin   
 has been retained by Gulf Finance House (GFH)a leading GCC based Islamic Investment Bank to advise on a Shari’ah compliant UK commercial property fund, Gulf Atlantic Real Estate II. The fund follows on from the success of GFHGFHGulf Finance House
‘s first UK property fund, Gulf Atlantic Real Estate, which Trowers & HamlinsTrowers & HamlinsTrowers and Hamlins
 also advised on and which exited in 2005, having delivered strong income and total returns for investors.
The fund, recently launched by GFHGFHGulf Finance House
, is raising £100 million of equity investment from Gulf based investors and plans to leverage this by raising additional Shari’ah compliant finance in due course. Trowers & HamlinsTrowers & HamlinsTrowers and Hamlins
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 will advise on the property acquisitions and on the structuring of the Shari’ah compliant financing.
Aimed at institutional investors and wealthy individuals based in the Gulf the fund will seek to capitalise on the recent substantial average falls in value of UK commercial property .
The fund will focus on building up a blended portfolio of income producing, well-located properties that have the potential to deliver a good income return and realise attractive levels of capital growth as market sentiment recovers. In order to ensure compliance with Islamic finance law acquisitions will be approved by GFHGFHGulf Finance House
Detailed tax and legal structuring advice was provided by Islamic Finance specialist partner Sarah Gooden and Tax partner, Andrew Sneddon. The structuring takes advantage of tax rules recently introduced by HM Treasury to facilitate Islamic financing of UK investments on a like for like basis with non-Islamic investment.
Nicholas Edmondes, Partner at Trowers & HamlinsTrowers & HamlinsTrowers and Hamlins
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, comments: “We were delighted to be chosen once again to advise GFHGFHGulf Finance House
. This fund demonstrates that confidence in the long-term performance of UK commercial property market remains high amongst international investors. It also recognises that the UK Government’s efforts to enable Islamic Finance to operate without tax or legal discrimination is paying off.”
“Middle Eastern investors are expressing a high level of interest in the UK commercial property market as the prices of many high quality buildings fall, to what many would say is a more realistic reflection of their current value.”
Trowers & HamlinsTrowers & HamlinsTrowers and Hamlins
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 is an international and City law firm with 110 partners and over 700 staff. They have three offices across the UK and five offices in the Middle East (Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Cairo and Oman) as well as co-operation agreements with firms in Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
Press enquiries:
Nicholas Edmondes
Trowers & Hamlins
Tel: 020 7423 8000
Nick Mattison or Jane Lougher
Mattison Public Relations
Tel: 020 7645 3636
© Press Release 2008  from

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