Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 August 2020

DIFC's Grip to raise capital through the issuance of digital securities

Grip is leading the capital raise for Lead Real Estate

Startupbootcamp has moved its regional headquarter to the Dubai International Financial Centre. Courtesy DIFC Authority
Startupbootcamp has moved its regional headquarter to the Dubai International Financial Centre. Courtesy DIFC Authority

Grip, a Dubai International Financial Centre-registered investment banking and wealth management company, will conduct a multi-million dollar capital raise through the issuance of digital securities representing investor shares.

The issuance – the first of its kind in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region – will see Grip leading the capital raise for Lead Real Estate, a residential and commercial developer that has its headquarters in Tokyo, according to a DIFC statement on Thursday.

“The issuance is the first major globally compliant digital securities offering in Measa (Middle East, Africa and South Asia), marking a key milestone for DIFC and Dubai. Grip is also on course to establish a private securities marketplace within the centre – a first for the region,” DIFC said.

The offering involves a collaborative effort by reputed lawyers, service providers, technology providers and regulated firms from across the world, including the UAE, the US, Japan, Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands.

Lead Real Estate is focused on the planning, acquisition, renovation and repurposing of real estate assets, with some of its projects leveraging opportunities arising from the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. The company’s assets are spread across Japan, America, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

"At Grip we are keen to be involved with cutting edge investment opportunities, and our pipeline is made up of green bonds and impact investments from clients that range from Japan, Mexico, Georgia and the GCC region", V Gowribalan, chief executive of Grip, said.

DIFC, which was set up in 2004, aims to raise the number of financial companies to 1,000, and employ 50,000 people by 2024. About 25,638 people worked in the centre at the end of last year, a 9 per cent jump from 2018.

“DIFC’s robust yet forward looking legal and regulatory framework is providing Grip with a platform to deliver a first for the centre and Measa region," Arif Amiri, chief executive of DIFC Authority, said. "Innovation like this will propel economic development in the region and illustrates how DIFC is driving the future of finance."

Earlier this month, the financial free zone signed an agreement with Dubai Investment Development Agency to attract more foreign investment into the emirate.

DIFC’s revenue at the end of 2019 rose 2 per cent year-on-year to $228 million (Dh837.45m), while its net profit at $119m remained stable with 2018 levels.

Updated: July 23, 2020 12:57 PM

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