Villa compound signals launch of Ambitious development plans in Iraq
DUBAI – 9 December 2003: Daman Iraq Fund, a private equity fund focused on investing in Iraq and launched last January, has announced the completion of its first development project in Baghdad, a residential villa compound that was developed and leased out to tenants.
Commenting on the completion of the project, Shehab M Gargash, Fund Director, said: “We are extremely proud of this project. In any normal situation, it would be a fairly routine small development that would go unannounced and unnoticed. In Iraq’s present situation, it is a victory of will despite many difficulties, and an affirmation of our unwavering commitment to participate in the development of the Iraqi economy”.
The projects consists a cluster of residential villas, each with 3 bedrooms and built on three levels. It is in a walled compound in a commercial/residential section in the heart of Baghdad. It is the first of several real estate developments that the Fund is undertaking in Iraq, which are at various stages of planning and development.
FOCUS ON DEVELOPMENT:
In its early months, Daman Iraq Fund focused on the acquisition of assets, which were available at significant discounts prior to the start of the war. Daman had launched its Fund and proceeded with investments prior to the war, which provided a significant early mover advantage to investors in the Fund.
The Fund had earlier indicated its intent to shift from asset acquisition to development of project. This is the first project to be announced, thereby reaffirming the long-term commitment to project development in Iraq.
Mr. Gargash adds: “Real estate forms an important part of our strategy in Iraq, but is only one part of the full picture. The natural tendency to begin with real estate is strengthened with an acute shortage of adequate housing in Iraq’s major cities, and the favorable returns that are expected to be achieved at an acceptable level of risk”.
Last September, Daman Iraq Fund announced its first NAV for investors in its first tranche, which achieved a 134.92% rise in 8 months. The Fund is presently raising its third tranche of US$ 5 million through private placement among qualified invited investors. The Fund is not open for public investors.
ABOUT DAMAN IRAQ FUND:
Daman Iraq Opportunity Fund is a private equity initiative targeting investment opportunities presented by the economic reconstruction of Iraq. It is an investment initiative that has been created and is managed by Daman Asset Management. Opportunity to invest in the Fund is presented to small groups of informed private investors through multiple investment tranches strictly on an invitation basis only.
The Fund is a BVI-registered offshore private equity fund, and has an authorized capital of US $50 million. It is audited on an annual basis, and its first annual audit is expected to take place on March 31, 2004.
For more information, please contact Ahmed Al Saidi or Keith Reid, Daman Securities; Tel: + 971.4.332.4140 Fax: + 971.4.332.4240 Email: [email protected]