What a start to 2017!


Firstly, welcome to 2017. I hope you got some rest over the end of the year, as it seems that much of the Islamic investment world kept on motoring.

Our own 90 North was working through the Christmas and New Year period, including Christmas Day, going unconditional on our latest US acquisition, more details of which we’ll be able to share in due course. This was working with Middle Eastern Shariah compliant investors who had certainly put the shock of Donald Trump’s victory behind them.

Now two weeks into 2017, I don’t remember a busier start to a new year. From day one, the phone has been ringing and emails arriving from investors wanting to start the year as they mean to go on. Interest remains extremely varied, from long-leased investment transactions across the US, the UK and Continental Europe to those seeking higher returns from added value or developments.

Putting such interest in the context of the current global political stage, 2016 on reflection was all about anticipation; 2017 (or more accurately the first three months) is when it will all happen.

By the end of January, Trump will be the president of the US and by the end of March, Theresa May has promised to serve the UK’s notice to leave the EU. To say what will follow will be interesting is an understatement.

While for the moment Islamic investors are not discouraged by either event, and indeed they are even encouraging some investment into the US and the UK, we at 90 North remain cautious and are continuing to monitor the situation, speculating that the markets may not have read the likely outcomes accurately.

Historically, although I confess it’s been a while since I’ve seen the research renewed, through their choice of Shariah compliant tenant activities, Islamic real estate investors have managed to avoid some of the extremes that fluctuating economic activity has delivered. As such investors continue to largely seek security and income from their property investments, we hope and trust that this will continue.

Not wanting to end on too dreary a note, uncertainty and differing views create opportunities, and we intend to make the most of them. After all, it’s less than 50 weeks until its 2018!

Original article appeared in Islamic Finance News.