Gulf Finance House BSC (GFH), the Bahrain-based Islamic investment bank which announced plans for $10 billion development projects in Mumbai, has now tied up with real estate developer Wadhwa Group to build a township in its place. In 2007, GFH had announced plans to set up Energy City Navi Mumbai (ECNM) and Mumbai IT & Telecom City (MITTIC) projects near Panvel in Mumbai.

“GFH and Wadhwa will together develop integrated homes, affordable housing, hotels and malls on the two sites, which hold a strategic location on the outskirts of Mumbai,” GFH said in a statement. A Bloomberg report stated that while GFH had spent $1 billion in buying 1,250 acre of land and getting permits, Wadhwa Group will invest another $1 billion for project development.

An e-mail query sent by VCCircle to GFH spokesperson did not elicit a response at the time of posting this article.

GFH had raised $630 million for Energy City India from its clients through a private placement that was oversubscribed back in 2007. The firm had also added plans for telecom city, software city and entertainment city with the entire development being called Mumbai Economic Development Zone. In July, 2008, its subsidiary Khaleeji Commercial Bank announced plans to raise $430 million for Global Logistix Navi Mumbai Investment Company to develop a 400 acre integrated logistics site in Navi Mumbai.

A DNA report said that 10 million square feet out of the envisaged total development area of 80-90 million square feet will be given to GFH as a part of this transaction. The rest will be with the Wadhwa group who can either lease or sell the built-up area.

“Our first priority is completion of our existing projects and exiting our investors. During this year, we are planning and targeting a number of exits and some key developments. Our initial plan to subdivide the Mumbai land and sell to sub-developers at early stage was difficult to achieve due to market changes post-financial crises. We recognised this and revised our strategy in partnership with Wadhwa to develop the project in phases and complete units for direct sale,” said Esam Yousif Janahi, executive chairman of GFH.

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