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Gulf Finance House to push ahead with Mumbai Economic Development Zone

Gulf Finance House BSC, the Bahrain-based Islamic investment bank, said it has signed a partnership aagreement with Wadhwa Group

Gulf News

Dubai: Gulf Finance House BSC (GFH or the Bank), the Bahrain-based Islamic investment bank, said it has signed a partnership aagreement with Wadhwa Group, an eminent real estate developer in India to develop core infrastructure of the Bank's Energy City Navi Mumbai (ECNM) and Mumbai IT and Telecom City (MITTIC) projects (together termed as the Mumbai Economic Development Zone), and also secure a successful exit for investors.

Following the infrastructure development GFH and Wadhwa will together develop integrated homes, affordable housing, hotels and malls on the two sites, which hold a strategic location on the outskirts of Mumbai.

This follows GFH's recent announcement of returning back to profitability in Q1 of 2011 with a net profit of $11.9 million for the quarter.

Local expertise

The partnership creates a consortium which will benefit from the local expertise of Wadhwa Group, an organisation with over 40 years of proven development experience in Mumbai.

Esam Yousif Janahi, Executive Chairman of GFH said: "Our first priority is completion of our existing projects and exiting our investors. During this year we are planning and targeting a number of exits and some key developments. Our initial plan to subdivide the Mumbai land and sell to sub-developers at early stage was difficult to achieve due to market changes post financial crises - we recognized this and revised our strategy in partnership with Wadhwa to develop the project in phases and complete units for direct sale. GFH has a proven track record of conceptualising projects which augment emerging economies. The partnership with Wadhwa Group shows the results of our revised strategy, as well as the faith international economies have in our ability to follow through on projects."

Launched by GFH in 2007 and 2008 respectively, the ECNM and MITTIC projects cover 1,250 acres of prime development land at Navi Mumbai in the Indian state of Maharashtra.

Mubai Economic Development Zone

The two developments form core components of the wider Mumbai Economic Development Zone - a state-of-the-art mixed use development strategically located close to Mumbai International Airport.

The Zone, which is supported by the Government of Maharashtra, will ultimately offer world-class infrastructure for local and international companies across the services, information technology and energy sectors.

Sanjay Chhabria Managing Director of Wadhwa Group added: "We are impressed with GFH's ability to conceptualise such developments. With our expertise and reputation together we will form a unique partnership that will create a substantial value to stakeholders. Our unparalleled expertise and reputation in the Mumbai development sector was amassed over 40 years of consistent project design, management and delivery. We and all of our partners are committed to adding to this track record with the successful, timely and profitable completion of these landmark Mumbai developments."