JEDDAH — Sterling UK Real Estate Fund (SURF), a joint venture between Sidra Capital, a Saudi-based Shariah-compliant financial services company and UK-based Gatehouse Bank, has announced plans to distribute seven per cent of net dividends to its shareholders.
A shining example of Saudi — UK partnership, the £100 million ($157 million) SURF draws on the key strengths of the two partners — Sidra’s comprehensive knowledge of alternative investment fund activities in the Middle East and Gatehouse’s real estate expertise in the UK.
Higher than SURF’s targeted distribution of 6.5 per cent, the current distribution trend is expected to be maintained for the duration of the fund, said Gatehouse, an Islamic bank specializing in UK real estate.
The distribution was made from income generated by SURF’s previous acquisitions; namely the Co-operative Distribution Unit, Huntingdon, Cambridge and TDG Distribution Centre in Glasgow.
Hani Othman Baothman, the managing director & CEO of Sidra and a Surf board member said the distribution marks a significant milestone for the Saudi UK fund.
"The higher than expected dividend is a strong endorsement of the conservative investment strategies put together by the Gatehouse and Sidra teams specifically for Middle Eastern investors," he said.
Ammar Zahran, the chairman of the board of directors of Al Murjan Holdings and a significant investor in Surf expressed his pleasure on the impressive returns.
"Given the conservative investment strategy adopted by the fund, the distributed return is indeed commendable. I have complete confidence in Surf’s investment team and look forward to future returns as they look to acquire additional properties," he added.
Adam Cavanagh, the head of real estate, Gatehouse Bank pointed out that Surf had been created specifically for those investors looking for exposure to the UK real estate market.
The fund identifies secure, income producing, low risk investment opportunities in the relative safe haven of the UK market for international investors.
"SURF’s returns are secured against high quality properties let to financially strong tenants on long lease terms providing security of income over the projected five year life of the fund," he added. — SG