Bahrain-based GFH acquires 80% stake in Hidd Mall

Bahrain-based GFH currently has $12bln in assets and funds

Traders walk out of Bahrain Bourse in Manama, Bahrain, September 16, 2019.

Traders walk out of Bahrain Bourse in Manama, Bahrain, September 16, 2019.

REUTERS/ Hamad I Mohammed

MANAMA: GFH Financial Group has expanded its presence in the retail sector by acquiring 80 per cent stake in Hidd Mall alongside a strategic investor.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The 46,000sqm mall, located in the fast-growing area of Hidd in Muharraq, is fully leased on a long-term basis to LuLu Hypermarkets, the largest retail chain in the Middle East. The mall is fully occupied currently, with LuLu sub-leasing the space to a diverse range of multinational, regional and local tenants.

GFH’s investment management chief Hammad Younas said: “This a resilient investment in a key sector which we believe will witness significant growth as the pandemic winds down. Malls anchored by grocery stores have already proved highly resilient, with families choosing to stay at home more during the pandemic.”

The mall gets high footfalls from Hidd residents.

In addition to the hypermarket, it offers a range of banking, retail and F&B outlets such as NBB, Khaleeji Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Malabar Gold and Diamonds, Yum Yum Tree Food Court, KFC, Baskin Robbins, Jasmi’s and Gloria Jean’s Coffees.

Other government and service providers located in the property include branches of the Traffic Police, Interior Ministry, alongside telecoms providers Batelco and stc Bahrain.

Additionally, the Hidd Mall serves as a key distribution hub for LuLu’s online shopping platform.

Bahrain-based GFH currently has $12 billion in assets and funds under management across a range of industries and sectors globally.

In addition to Hidd Mall, the group’s retail investments include Events Mall in Jeddah and the Entertainer, a loyalty and rewards solution provider.

In a disclosure to Bahrain Bourse, GFH said the investment is expected to reflect positively on the group’s financials and increase returns.

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