Leading regional mortgage provider, Amlak, is planning to raise Dh6 billion in 2008 to part finance its operational expansion in existing and into new markets.
The funds will also be used to finance regional growth plans, which include entry into three more countries in the first half of next year, according to Nasser Al Shaikh, Chairman of Amlak.
“We plan to raise about Dh6 billion in 2008 to finance operations in the UAE and the region. We are operational in the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and in the first half of next year we should be in Bahrain, Qatar and Jordan,” Al Shaikh told Emirates Business.
Al Shaikh said he was hopeful the “leading mortgage provider” would be present in “10 to 15 countries” in about five years time.
However, Western markets were not yet on Amlak’s horizon. “They are not yet on our radar. I think there is huge opportunity in the region. This is based on the knowledge that we have developed here. No one can take away that Amlak started the mortgage industry. We know the growing pains. We know what channels are there. When we go into a country where the mortgage market is not developed, we know what to do. We even assisted in drafting the real estate ownership and mortgage law in a country, which I will not name.
“Next year, our profits in Egypt will be equal to our capital [in Egypt]. (Amlak entered Egypt at the beginning of this year). Give me an economy that gives you that much. We have great opportunities here in virgin markets that have not been explored compared to opportunities in Western markets,” said Al Shaikh.
But the chairman would not rule out any venture into the West.