Bahrain's Industrial Sector Is Ready to Take Off.

Following a time of unprecedented tensions across the Kingdom of Bahrain, we are gradually returning to a period of sustained stability, which will benefit the kingdom's real estate market. While the residential and office markets have been slow to recover, the government has continued to support Bahrain's industrial sector, even as national tensions have risen. Consistent funding for the sector has resulted in an industrial market that now appears to be self-sustaining and attracting foreign occupiers. In the long run, this rapidly expanding sector is expected to play a critical role in Bahrain's economic revitalization. villa qatar

Because of Bahrain's central location in the Arabian Gulf, distributors have easy access to any GCC port. Furthermore, efficient land and air transportation links allow for quick access to the wider Middle East area. Bahrain's proximity to Saudi Arabia, the Middle East's largest economy, is particularly appealing to logistics companies. The 25-kilometer-long King Fahad Causeway connects the island nation of Bahrain to Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province. The King Fahad Causeway sees about 50,000 vehicles a day on average, with over 19 million crossings in 2013, a 12 percent rise over the previous year.

Given the number of projects that have recently come online or are nearing completion, Bahrain's industrial sector is poised for a new phase of growth in the medium to long term. Bahrain's current infrastructure, especially the new Khalifa bin Salman Port, is assisting in this sector's development. This, combined with the broad range of incentives available in Bahrain, ranging from 100 percent freehold ownership to tax cuts, is catalyzing the industrial sector's expansion.

Established businesses are increasingly looking to expand into new and developing industrial areas and technologies. This is due to a combination of dated industrial stock on hand as well as minor disturbances in places like Sitra. Many companies that are still located in these older buildings are aware of the newly built space and are eager to move to these newer, more affordable sites that profit from the modern infrastructure facilities. This migration has created a shortage of high-quality space, putting upward pressure on monthly rental rates. During the first quarter of 2014, these increased to between BD 2.50 and BD 4.00 psm, up from BD 2.00 to BD 3.50 in the previous quarter.

Bahrain's status as one of the region's leading industrial centers would undoubtedly be bolstered by ongoing investments in the sector. As foreign logistics operators and distributors zero in on the kingdom, more rapid depletion of supply is unavoidable, resulting in increased rents.

The Bahrain Group acquires a commercial portfolio in the United States.
Investcorp Bank BSC has acquired a $250 million portfolio of office and retail assets throughout the United States.

The Bahrain-based investment firm, which operates through its U.S. subsidiary, is adding 1.6 million square feet to its portfolio, with a 92 percent occupancy rate, according to the company. The identity of the seller was kept a secret.

The properties are in the Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and New York metropolitan areas. Two office buildings in Evanston, Illinois, near Northwestern University; a 25-acre California shopping center; a two-tower office complex in Minneapolis; and three office properties on Long Island are among them.

In the announcement, Herb Myers, managing director of Investcorp's real estate division, said, "Our strategy is to invest in properties that we believe will provide attractive yields soon after they are acquired." "On a longer time horizon, we believe these properties present an opportunity to boost their operating and leasing efficiency."

Investcorp has acquired over 200 assets worth approximately $10 billion since 2005. Property and debt funds worth more than $4 billion are managed by the company.

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