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Sun 30 May 2004 04:00 AM

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BFH Financial Centre funds in place after $192 m. deal

Al Hamad Contracting Company is fully able to finance its contract for the Bahrain Financial Harbour with an agreement signed with Mashreqbank

Mashreqbank has signed an agreement with Sharjah-based Al Hamad Contracting Company to fully finance its US $192 million contract for the Bahrain Financial Harbour (BFH). The three-year contract will cover Phase one of the $1.3 billion BFH project, promoted by the Bahrain Financial Harbour Holding Company. The financial advisor and placement agent for BFH is Gulf Finance House, and the lead consultant architect is Ahmed Janahi Architects.

The facility involves all credit facilities, guarantees, overdrafts and sweep accounts. The contractor financing involves a complex structure, in which Mashreqbank has expertise and is an area where it is one of the biggest players in the GCC.

“Al Hamad has a very successful track record of infrastructure development projects in the region, many of which we have participated in. We are very pleased to have once again been selected for this landmark development,” said Omar Bouhadiba, senior vice president and head of commercial banking group, Mashreqbank.

The first phase of the project, for which the contract has been granted to Al Hamad, will include The Financial Centre, which comprises the Financial Mall, the Dual Office Towers and the Harbour House. The Financial Mall houses the Bahrain Stock Exchange and the Capital Financial Market comprising a trading hall, clearing and settlement house, brokerage and trading firms.

“After a rigorous tender process Al Hamad was selected based on its track record of successful development projects of similar scope in the region,” said Esam Janhai, chairman, BFH. “This deal marks a significant milestone in the development and evolution of BFH as our vision becomes a reality. Construction for phase one of BFH, the Financial Centre, begins this month and will be completed by March 2007. BFH is the first of its kind in the region, a holistic City Within A City development integrating finance, commerce, leisure, lifestyle and the arts,” he added.

The Dual Office Towers will be Bahrain’s largest and tallest buildings with 50 floors each, while the Harbour House will serve media businesses.

To maximise the benefits of such construction projects to Bahraini locals, Al Hamad is coordinating with local colleges to establish a training institute for construction skills.

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