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Investor discontent at Marina West Bahrain.

A $US 700 million residential development in Bahrain known as Marina West, scheduled to be handed over to owners by the end of

2010, has been much to the chagrin of its investors at a standstill since March.

According to its predominantly blue skied website, "Marina West will comprise 10 ingeniously designed residential towers ranging

in height from 20 to 32 floors, encircling the 75,000 square metre (800,000 square feet) gated community. An Eleventh tower will

provide a 286 key, 5 star hotel entitled Rixos Marina West Hotel".

Back in May, Marina West chief executive, Mahmood Janahi, reaffirmed his determination to complete the project and described a

negotiation in progress involving a number of potential investors to instill, as he put it, Aofresh impetus" into the construction

programme. In October the original investors received a letter penned by Mr. Janahi, to the effect that the developers had failed to

raise the financial injection necessary to complete the project. Funding property projects it would seem is no longer a popular

investment strategy amongst either bankers or high net worth individuals.

However, a collective of buyers and investors calling themselves the 'Group of Marina West Apartment Buyers' have gone public with

a request for intervention from the Bahraini government to revive the static housing project at Budaiya Village. The group professes

to represent 400 plus disgruntled investors and say they are preparing to present a petition to the Bahrain government later this

month, requesting that they instruct the developer, AAJ Holdings (AAJ), to resume work at Marina West. On the assumption that

AAJ have run out of money, this would probably either entail a government bail out or some form of project takeover.

The petition is quoted online as stating that more than 400 investors hailing from Bahrain, Europe, North America and Saudi Arabia

have already parted with US$150 million toward the development of Marina West; with banks, contractors and suppliers owed an

additional US$ 125 million. This of course does not add up to the US$ 700 million needed to complete the overall project, which was

at the piling stage in 2007. So based on the arithmetic another US$ 425 million to find, that may yet prove a tough public sector ask

as the US dollar heads into a sustained period of weakness.

Copyright Andy McTiernan. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Andy McTiernan Property & Economy Bulletin
Geographic Code:7BAHR
Date:Nov 5, 2010
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