A $157 Million (GBP 100 million) Saudi-United Kingdom real estate fund has given its shareholders a pleasant pre-holiday surprise - a 7 percent annual dividend. The fund's managers had previously predicted possibly a 6.5 percent dividend might be in store.
The first round of dividends were distributed to investors in the Sterling UK Real Estate Fund (SURF). (One British pound equals $1.57 U.S.)
Hani Othman Baothman made the announcement. He is Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of SidraSidra Capital (Sidra), a CMA regulated Shari'ah-compliant financial services company based in Saudi Arabia and Gatehouse Bank (Gatehouse), an FSA regulated UK-based Shari'ah compliant bank specializing in UK real estate.
Baeothman said the 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. 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.
Baeothman said the fund 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.
"The distribution marks a significant milestone for SURF," Baeothman said. "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."
Ammar Zahran, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Al Murjan Holdings and a heavy investor in SURF, said, "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."
Adam Cavanaugh, Head of Real Estate, Gatehouse Bank said, "SURF has 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."