Kuwait's KFH sells properties worth $298m

Country's biggest Islamic lender says reorganising portfolio; taking more cautious view

Kuwait Finance House (KFH) has announced the sale of 16 real estate assets for KD84m ($298m) as it reorganises its property portfolio.

The company did not specific the locations of the properties released from its portfolio which reaches across North America, south East Asia, and Europe.

In a statement, Anwar Al-Ghaith, chief operations officer, said the moved aimed to "achieve better returns for investors and depositors".

He added that the company had made profit of KD25m from the sale.

He said: "Selling those assets does not mean letting go of good real estate portfolio that KFH owns, but rather reinforce it by paradigm assets that play a prominent role in increasing the bank's profits through high returns."

He stressed that the sale did not mean that KFH would stop investing in real estate, but admitted that "the concepts have changed", adding that the company had "become more cautious".

Al-Ghaith said that KFH's real estate portfolio had "become more diverse and profitable while limiting risks".

In October KFH, the country's biggest Islamic lender, reported a 33 percent increase in third-quarter net profit, beating analyst estimates.

Net profit rose to KD33.7m ($119.9m) from KD25.3m in the same period a year ago.

In May, KFH announced that it has acquired a residential development in Canada for $42.5m, its second acquisition this year.

It said it has bought Kanata Lakes Apartments, which consists of 146 units in Ottawa, as part of KFH's agreement with the Killam partnership.

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