DIF to hand over Baghdad villas by year-end

DUBAI - Daman Iraq Fund (DIF) recently initiated by Dubai-based Daman Asset Management launched its first cross border project in Baghdad is all set to give occupancy of its second project of residential villas in Baghdad by end of 2004.

By Sandhya D'mello

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Published: Tue 22 Jun 2004, 10:08 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 12:08 PM

The project broke ground early this month, and work is to be completed before the end of the year. The project is expected to cost over $2 million and is expected to provide work opportunities for some 50 Iraqi managers, engineers, technicians and workers. This brings total investment of the fund into Iraq to over $10 million. Shehab Gargash, Director, DIF, said: "Our second project will be set for occupancy by end of the current year. The project is financed from assets of the DIF. However the process of rebuilding of Iraq is still very slow. However we believe the situation will get better."

Daman had earlier announced a similar residential compound that it had developed and leased, just as other Iraq-oriented funds were struggling to gain inroads into the volatile but promising market. The first project was also for a residential villa complex, also in the centre of Baghdad. The project was completed in November 2003.

Meanwhile DIF has announced its maiden cash dividend of 20 per cent yesterday. This amounts to $20 per share. The Fund is a private equity initiative that was launched 18 months ago to invest in burgeoning Iraqi market in anticipation of the post-Saddam era in Iraq. DIF's first financial year ended on March 31st 2004. The Fund's Net Asset Value (NAV) is indicated at $256.18 per share. This translated to a growth in NAV of 156.18 per cent.

Daman had launched the Iraq Fund in January 2003 at a time of major diplomatic and military manoeuvering across the globe. The Fund was introduced at a price of $100 per share. It is a $50 million private investment vehicle.

Gargash said: "The early believers in Iraq's economic revival have been vindicated. The DIF has provided a handsome return despite some very troubled times behind us."

Mohamed Hamdan, Fund Director said: "The Iraqi market is poised for a turn to the positive sooner or later - it is inevitable. When we get down to serious rebuilding, the sky will be the limit."

Daman Iraq 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.

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