BAHRAIN. Gulf Finance House BSC, the Bahrain-based Islamic investment bank, has announced that the Tunis Financial Harbour (TFH) has begun the prequalification process for prospective contractors.
This follows on the heels of an announcement made by the Government of Tunisia in support of the TFH project, allocating TD 50 million to the completion of major and strategic infrastructure works in relation to access and roads to TFH.
The project’s masterplan has already been approved by the Government, and is set to be built in the Rawad Area. To complement the commercial aspects of the initiative, a variety of residential and leisure facilities including a marina, a residential complex with luxurious villas and an 18-hole championship golf course are included in the master plan.
TFH is going to be North Africa’s very first offshore financial centre contributing to transforming the region’s economy. It is expected to positively impact the economy of Tunisia by turning it into a financial hub, thereby attracting large investments and creating many job opportunities.
Hisham Alrayes, Chief Investment Officer of GFH said, “Though this project has been somewhat delayed from the original project schedule, the wheels are once again moving on TFH and we are fully geared up to commence tendering for the project’s infrastructure work as soon as the Tunisian Government gives us the go-ahead.”
“We are currently also looking at partnerships with reputable institutions and developers to develop the project’s clusters to accelerate our client’s investments. We are also looking at further injections of investments into the project”.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our shareholders and investors’ confidence and support as we progressed through the various stages of TFH to date. GFH is committed to seeing through the infrastructure projects launched prior to the global financial crisis by fine tuning their models to be compatible and cope with the new market conditions and TFH is the perfect example of this” continued Mr. Alrayes.
The allocated budget of TD50 million covers all infrastructure work such as roads and pathways leading to the project. The plan details that TFH will be comprised of several clusters including: a financial district, a marina and beachfront community, retail boutiques, a golf course and international schools.
Commenting on the project, Imad Nesnas, Managing Director of TFH said: “This is a very exciting time for us, as we are now preparing to lay down the necessary infrastructure for TFH, a project that is likely to be a huge magnet for investment, both from within the country and from outside the country. This landmark project will add to the positive forecasts of a growth potential of 4.5 percent in 2012 for Tunisia, and will definitely contribute to boosting the country’s economy in the long term. Once approval for the infrastructure design is given, infrastructure work on TFH will commence immediately”.
“It is also an exciting time for Tunisia as a country, and I would like to extend our warm congratulations to the new elected Tunisian Government on their appointment, as well as offer our sincere thanks for the invaluable support we have received since first signing the TFH agreement. The new government is looking to pursue liberal, business-friendly economic policies, which will only benefit TFH specifically, and the economy in general, in the long run,” he added.
About Gulf Finance House
Since its establishment in 1999, Bahrain based Gulf Finance House (GFH) has been a driving force in the development of regional Islamic financial institutions and infrastructure projects across the Middle East. Its shares are listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange, the Bahraini Stock Exchange, the Dubai Financial Market and the London Stock Exchange in the form of a GDR.
It has been responsible for the creation of leading Middle Eastern financial institutions such as First Energy Bank, QInvest, Syria Finance House, Inovest, Khaleeji Commercial Bank and Arab Finance House. In addition, GFH has created a wide range of significant economic infrastructure projects across the MENA region and beyond.
GFH is currently transitioning to a new business model which will see the business focus on becoming a global leader in the creation and development of Islamic financial institutions.