Offa secures UK’s largest Islamic Finance bridge funding with £100 million credit line from GII

Image for Offa secures UK’s largest Islamic Finance bridge funding with £100 million credit line from GII

April 8, 2024

The UK’s first Sharia-compliant bridge finance company Offa has today announced a £100 million credit line from a fund managed by UAE-based Gulf Islamic Investments Group (GII). The credit line is the largest of its kind outside of the Gulf, creating significant capacity for Offa to expand and diversify its bridging propositions in the UK property market.

Formed as an ethical alternative to conventional bridging, Offa will use the funding to launch new bridge finance products for heavy refurbishments and development, in addition to existing traditional bridge-financing products. The niche business is primarily aimed at property investors from Britain’s 4 million strong Muslim community, who represent 6.5% of the UK population and seek finance that is compatible with their faith. Yet Offa’s competitively priced products and ethical model, which forbids interest and shuns ‘haram’ sectors such as gambling, alcohol, and the arms trade, is attracting an almost equal number of non-Muslim customers.

“GII’s new funding line is fantastic news for Offa and the UK. It’s the single largest credit line to a British Islamic Finance House, underscoring GII’s confidence in the UK bridging market. Demand for Offa’s products is strong. We’ve seen a 10-fold increase in business these past 12 months. With bigger capacity, we can expand our asset book and product set to support many more brokers and clients with their finance requirements,” said Bilal Ahmed, the Founding Partner and Managing Director of Offa’s bridging division.

One of the leading alternative investment groups, GII has over $4.5 billion of assets under its management. GII’s investors are attracted to the prospect of double-digit annual returns from well-managed funds in the UK bridging market sector that is currently worth £7 billion, as part of the expansion of GII’s private credit and fixed income platforms.

GII took a majority stake in Offa in mid-2022. Commenting on the decision to deepen its relationship with the West Midlands-headquartered business, GII Co-Founder and Co-CEO Mohammed Alhassan said:  “Our investors rely on GII to offer class-leading global investment options and bespoke opportunities to build wealth with a noble purpose. The UK has long been a focus for GII’s asset management plans, providing strong profit margins in a well-regulated and growing market. Offa represents an attractive home for GII’s managed assets, in a partnership strengthened by our shared experience of Sharia-compliant ethical business.”

Fellow GII Co-founder and Co-CEO Pankaj Gupta added, “Our new credit line to Offa is in keeping with GII’s mandate to deliver ‘innovation with a purpose’. Offa is at the forefront of delivering Sharia-compliant bridge finance fit for the digital age. Its clients can now access a larger pool of ethical finance to develop their real estate property portfolios to meet changing market and consumer demands, supported by Offa’s highly experienced management team. It’s a win-win situation all round.”

Available later this month, the key features for Offa’s new bridging products include finance of between £200,000 and £25 million (75% FTV and 85% FTC) for a term of up to 18 months for heavy refurbishments and up to 24 months for development finance for properties in England and Wales. Applications can be made online at offa.co.uk or via brokers.

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