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Sun 26 Feb 2012 07:11 PM

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Bahrain's Investcorp eyes $250m US spend

Investment bank plans to buy properties in the United States for its Gulf clients

Bahrain's Investcorp eyes $250m US spend

Investcorp Bank, the Bahrain-based alternative investment firm, plans to spend $250m this year to buy properties in the United States for its Gulf clients.

The company, which manages $1.2bn of real-estate assets, spent $200m last year purchasing properties in Miami, Boston, Washington DC, San Francisco and Los Angeles, Jonathan Dracos, head of real estate of Investcorp, told reporters in Dubai on Sunday.

“When we are out buying, we are looking for 8 percent to 10 percent current return yearly paid to clients and overall return of somewhere between 10 percent and 12 percent,” said Dracos, who served on the executive committee for George Soros’s Quantum Reality Fund.

Investcorp, whose businesses include investments in companies, real estate as well as hedge funds, had $11.6bn of assets under management at the end of December. In the past three years, the company invested in 12 equity transactions and six debt deals.

The real-estate division is focusing on buying apartments to take advantage of lower home ownership and preference for rentals in the US, Dracos said. The company is also buying offices close to hospitals and is active in Texas, he said.

If you want to diversify your investments, “the US is 50 percent of the real-estate market even today,” said Harsh Shethia, chief of staff at Investcorp.

“The US is so deep. It’s liquid and at any time you can buy assets, you can sell assets, you can get financing and it’s proven.”

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