Kuwait-linked bank inks US offices deal

Gatehouse Bank completes agreement to buy federal office building in Salt Lake City

Kuwait-owned Gatehouse Bank, a Shariah compliant investment bank based in London, has announced a deal to buy an office building in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Gatehouse, whose parent company is the Securities House in Kuwait, said in a statement that it has completed the acquisition of the 163,000 sq ft building which is expected to provide "stable and healthy yield".

The property is 100 percent leased to the General Services Administration (GSA) for a fixed term of 20 years. Gatehouse did not give a value for the property deal.

The GSA is the procurement agency for the US Federal government, and provides various government agencies with world-class sustainable facilities.

Fahed Boodai, chairman of Gatehouse Bank, said: "International investors are continuing to target quality investments with a strong and stable lease profile and, with government tenants tending to occupy space for a lengthy duration, these properties have become increasingly popular acquisition targets.

"This property is an extremely attractive acquisition prospect and a significant addition to our investment portfolio."

Salt Lake City is Utah's largest metropolitan area, and benefits from a diverse economy, healthy demographics and a low cost of doing business.

Government employment in the region is considerable, with the State of Utah, University of Utah, and Salt Lake County ranked among the city's largest employers.

The second quarter of 2012 was particularly strong for the US office market, and occupancy rates continued to improve through the second half of the year to reach peak levels last seen prior to the 2008-2009 recession.

With a global real estate portfolio in excess of $1.25bn, Gatehouse Bank specialises in originating, structuring and funding investments in a Shariah compliant manner.

Last month, Gatehouse Bank said it had completed the sale of the Procter & Gamble UK headquarters building, in a deal worth £33.68m ($53.8m).

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