Ithmaar launches property firm, eyes IPO

New firm, Naseej, to have $795.8mn paid-up capital, with just under half raised in IPO.
Ithmaar launches property firm, eyes IPO
By Reuters
Mon 23 Jun 2008 05:43 PM

Bahrain-based Islamic bank Ithmaar Bank on Monday said it had led a consortium to launch a new real estate and infrastructure firm, which it aims to float in an initial public offering by the end of 2008.

Naseej will have a paid-up capital of 300 million dinars ($795.8 million), of which 120 million will be raised in an IPO open to Bahraini and foreign investors, with shares set at 0.1 dinars each, the firm's founders said in a news conference.

The firm's founders said a shortage of building materials and expertise in the booming Gulf Arab region, where construction projects have mushroomed, has slowed development, prompting Naseej's creation.

"Bahrain's construction industry has been plagued by constraints and skill shortages for far too long, which has caused delays to several mega-developments and hindered the growth of the economy," Ithmaar Chairman Khalid Janahi said.

Bahrain's Social Insurance Organisation, Kuwait's Al Safat Investment Company, Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait and Global Investment House, are among Naseej's founders.

As well as real estate and construction services, the firm will offer consultancy and mortgage services and building materials.

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