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The steep gains on Dubai property and plots eased the way for Bahrain's VCBank to exit the land asset it had been holding for some time. (Picture used for illustrative purposes.) Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: With property and land values in Dubai on a 3-year golden run, Bahrain’s Venture Capital Bank timed its sale of a 900,000 square feet ‘island’ plot that is part of ‘The World’ project

VCBank, a wholesale Islamic bank licensed by Central Bank of Bahrain, did this through selling its stake in ‘The World Development Co’, the operating company that holds the plot on its books, located off the city's coast. 

The Bank was recently acquired by Esterad Investment Company B.S.C, (“Esterad”) a Bahrain based investment company and one of the oldest investment firms in the kingdom.

“The Bank is pleased to announce the successful exit for investors from this unique investment following the boom in the UAE real estate market despite the challenges that the project experienced since its inception,” said Shaikh Mohamed Duaij Khalifa Alkhalifa, Chairman of VCBank.

Project delays and then some

‘The World’ has had a chequered past, having gone through multiple delays through the years. In the recent past, plots making up the multi-‘island’ project have been coming up for auctions.

Based on VCBank’s exit, it’s clear there are investors who espy potential in developing some of the sites forming the cluster. Much of the activity is centered around creating upscale hospitality projects.

A clean break

After its acquisition by Esterad, VCBank is ‘under new leadership, and is now offering an alternative exit strategy for its investors including options to convert into the bank’s newly issued perpetual Sukuk’, said Shaikh Mohamed.

We are experiencing exceptional positive feedback from the market and our investors on the conversion to perpetual sukuk.

- Shaikh Mohamed Duaij Khalifa Alkhalifa of VCBank

“VCBank is expected to merge with Esterad within the next 6 months, which will strengthen the bank’s financial position and return the bank to profitability.”

More to follow...