By Lubna Hamdan
The growing regional e-commerce market underpins increasing demand for logistics real estate
Dubai-based investment company Manrre Logistics Fund, which is managed by Dalma Capital, today placed its shares into Nasdaq Dubai’s share depository as it looks to capitalise on the growing regional e-commerce industry.
The CSD (Central Securities Depository) looks after shares on behalf of shareholders and facilitates share transfers between investors.
Manrre was launched by Dubai-based Palmon Group in 2018 and focuses on institutional-grade logistics and industrial properties across JAFZA, Dubai Investments Park and Dubai South.
In 2018 it reported a total annualised return of 12.5 percent, with a portfolio valuation of $72.33 million at the end of 2019. Of its portfolio total built-up area, logistics and industrial account for 70% of assets.
The UAE has the highest e-commerce penetration rate in the MENA region at 4.2 percent, followed closely by Saudi Arabia at 3.8 per cent, according to Bain & Company.
Dalma Capital CEO Zachary Cefaratti said e-commerce in the region, which is forecast to double by 2022, underpins increasing demand for logistics real estate, industrial warehouses and fulfilment centres.
The UAE saw both logistics giant Aramex and Amazon-owned Souq.com open 60,000 square metre and 23,000 sqm fulfilment centres in the UAE over the past 2 years alone.
E-commerce spending in the GCC is expected to total $10.8bn by 2020, marking a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.6 per cent from $5.4bn in 2017, according to Dinarstandard's MENASA eCommerce Landscape.
“While this dynamic has already caused logistics to become the hottest real estate investment class globally, the trend is only beginning in the GCC and remains overlooked. With limited supply, increasing demand and attractive real estate prices at this stage in the market cycle, we see ideal conditions for investment” Cefaratti added.
Hamed Ali, chief executive of Nasdaq Dubai, said: “Our efficient CSD facility for private companies is an effective platform for introducing a wide range of businesses to an exchange environment, as a step towards engaging in new financing possibilities.”