By Andy Sambidge
Gulf Finance House meets with gov't, contractors to progress Tunis Financial Harbour
Bahrain's Gulf Finance House (GFH) said on Sunday it was committed to a multi-billion plan to build Tunisia's first offshore financial centre.
Hisham Alrayes, GFH's acting CEO, said Tunisia would become North Africa's leading financial hub once the $3bn Tunis Financial Harbour development was completed.
"The expected benefits of TFH are extraordinary for Tunisia, GFH and our investors. We are very much committed to seeing the project through," said Alrayes during talks with Riadh Bettaieb, the Tunisian Minister of Investment and International Co-operation.
The meeting was held to discuss progress on the project which is set to comprise four business clusters including investment banking and advisory centre, a corporate centre, a Takaful/insurance hub and the region's first international financial exchange.
There will also be a variety of residential and leisure facilities including a marina, a residential complex and an 18-hole championship golf course.
During the meeting, Bettaieb reiterated his support for the project, saying the government was committed to ensuring development of the project with GFH.
Alrayes added: "Tunisia offers investors high potential for growth, government support, attractive investment terms, security, proximity to Europe, an educated population, a beautiful climate and well maintained public infrastructure.
"I see Tunisia becoming the leading Financial and Business Centre in North Africa once development of TFH has been completed."
Alrayes said GFH has met a number of contractors and developers and discussed plans for progressing the development and construction of the key buildings.
He added that the plan was to focus initially on completing work on the retail district, golf course, show villas and residential units.
Tunis Financial Harbour will focus on attracting local, regional and international banks and financial institutions, as well as leading regional Islamic banks and Islamic Investment Funds to the region.
Back in 2009, GFH signed an agreement to purchase the land needed for the construction of the $3bn project. The project was first announced in December 2007.
How does GFH purpose to pay for this?
I agree with the question. Look at the share value, they should privatize. And they should get a second opinion on the outdated plans as shown. How does a proposed 2009 land purchase agreement hold water?