Bank Fees Revolt

Alkhabeer plans IPO.

DUBAI: Alkhabeer Capital, a Saudi Arabia-based investment advisory
firm, plans to offer new shares worth about 30 percent of its capital in
an initial public offering (

) on the local bourse by early 2014, its
chief executive said.

Alkhabeer, in which conglomerate
Saudi Binladin Group

 is a top
shareholder, is awaiting the regulatory nod to initiate the IPO process,


 Ammar Shata said in Dubai.

The Jeddah-based firm, which manages assets worth around $700
million, was formed in 2004 and raised about $210 million in capital
from more than 30 shareholders after receiving an investment banking and
asset management license from the Saudi regulator, the Capital Market
Authority (


“We are waiting for the signal from the regulator. The plan is
to go public by 2014 and a potential listing will not just help us raise
new money but also enhance our branding and public image,” Shata
said yesterday.

Alkhabeer is bullish on real estate opportunities in the United
States and UK, Shata said, adding those investments offer attractive
returns for the coming 18 months.

The firm is working with investment management companies in the
United States to jointly develop real estate investment trusts (REITs)
to tap the opportunity, Shata said.

The firm has already invested $ 300 million in US real estate so
far in 2012, he said, adding it plans to stay away from equity-related
investments in the coming year except for some pre-IPO opportunities.

REITs can earn rents on leased properties and also capture the

operating income

 from those facilities by retaining independent
management for a fee.

“Real estate income-generating investments in the US and UK is
a great investment opportunity in the coming months,” he said.

Asked whether the investment firm was looking to Asia and other
emerging markets, Shata said: “I think the right opportunity today
is in the UK and US … The reason the Western world is advanced is that
they correct their mistakes quickly and they only make mistakes
once.” The firm is also staying cash-heavy with about 30 percent of
the portfolio in cash, awaiting opportunities created mainly by the Arab
spring revolts, the executive said.

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