GFH in $150m deal to sell assets to global private schools operator

Updated 05 December 2017
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GFH in $150m deal to sell assets to global private schools operator

LONDON: Gulf-focused investment group GFH has struck a $150 million deal to sell part of its educational assets in the GCC to global private schools operator, Inspired.
GFH’s educational portfolio in the GCC has been built over the past four years and is valued at $300 million, the company said in an announcement on Tuesday. GFH is listed in Bahrain, Kuwait and Dubai.
Inspired runs private schools in Europe, Africa, Latin America and Australia. Its chairman Nadin Nsouli said: “This agreement marks the entry point of Inspired in the region. We will evaluate other school acquisitions in the region with GFH.”
Hisham Al-Rayes, CEO of GFH, said: “Inspired’s network and experience will add significant value to the schools including offering both students and teachers opportunities to take part in exchange programs and to benefit from the latest programs to enhance the level of education.”
Inspired has schools in Italy, the UK, Switzerland, Belgium, South Africa, Kenya, Australia, Colombia and Peru. GFH’s businesses include asset management, wealth management, commercial banking and real estate development.
Elsewhere, GEMS MENASA, parent company of Dubai’s largest private schools operator, GEMS Education, was reported to have chosen JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley to lead a planned flotation in London next year.
GEMS, which operates more than 250 schools across 14 countries, could have a market capitalization of around $4.5-$5 billion, according to Reuters.
Listed on Nasdaq Dubai, GEMS MENSA on Monday reported stronger financial results in the year ending Aug. 31, 2017, with net profit up 2.5% at $129.6 million. Revenue rose 17.3 percent to $926.2m, while key indicator — average revenue per student — jumped 6.6 percent to $8,079 year-on-year.
GEMS also reported it had secured a $1.25 billion loan to refinance existing borrowings and support growth.


Turkey cuts investment criteria for foreigners seeking citizenship

Updated 19 September 2018
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Turkey cuts investment criteria for foreigners seeking citizenship

  • Turkey made it easier for foreigners to become Turkish citizens by cutting the financial and investment criteria required for citizenship
  • Foreigners now need only to have $500,000 deposits in Turkish banks

ANKARA: Turkey on Wednesday made it easier for foreigners to become Turkish citizens by cutting the financial and investment criteria required for citizenship, according to a decree from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Foreigners now need only to have $500,000 deposits in Turkish banks, down from $3 million before while fixed capital investment was reduced from $2 million to $500,000 dollars, the decree published in the Official Gazette said.
Meanwhile individuals can obtain citizenship if they employ 50 people, down from the previous 100, while those who own property worth $250,000 can become Turkish citizens, compared to the previous value necessary of $1 million.
The decree is the latest in a series by Erdogan in what appears to be a bid to prop up the embattled Turkish lira and the economy which slowed down in the second quarter.
Last week, the president ordered that contracts for the sale, rent and leasing of property in or indexed to foreign currencies would not be allowed.
The Turkish currency fell against the US dollar drastically in August after one of the most bitter spats between Ankara and Washington over the detention of an American pastor.
The lira lost nearly a quarter in value against the greenback in August.
But there had been investor concerns over domestic economic policy and Erdogan’s continued opposition to high interest rates, although the central bank aggressively hiked its main policy rate 6.25 percent to 24 percent last week.
Erdogan will later meet with representatives of American companies working in Turkey at 1500 GMT at his presidential palace in Ankara, according to the presidential website.
He will meet with 30 senior executives, according to HaberTurk daily, including representatives from Microsoft and Google.