Abu Dhabi's NBAD launches UAE real estate fund

DUBAI, April 22 Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:19am EDT

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DUBAI, April 22 (Reuters) - National Bank of Abu Dhabi has launched a real estate fund in partnership with a Kuwaiti firm to seek investment opportunities in the United Arab Emirates' property sector, the lender said on Sunday.

NBAD, the UAE's top bank by market capitalisation, has teamed up with Kuwaiti firm Gulf Investment Corp for the venture, which it plans to convert to a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the future.

"In the future, it is our intention to bring this fund to an initial public offering, thereby creating what we expect to the region's first REIT," Mahmood al-Aradi, senior general manager of NBAD's financial markets division said in a statement.

The fund will focus on high-quality income generating properties in the UAE where property prices have fallen sharply since the 2008 global financial crisis.

It will be launched with a seed capital of 100 million dirhams ($27.23 million) with NBAD and Gulf Investment pooling in 50 million dirhams each.

The parties expect to start raising money for the fund soon, Aradi told reporters in Dubai. (Reporting by Rachna Uppal; Writing by Dinesh Nair)

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