My clients were a Bangladeshi couple currently residing in Dubai after having previously lived in Canada. They own an incredibly successful construction company in Dubai, from which they have accumulated a great deal of wealth. They selected Enness from two other brokers due to our reputation for delivering solutions to complicated cases.
The couple has a vast portfolio of 15 high-value properties in Dubai, Canada and the UK. The total value for these properties was around the £25million mark, making an average of £1.6million across their portfolio.
They were looking to release a large chunk of equity from their entire portfolio. They would then place this with a bank as assets under management (AUM) to secure future purchases at the same time as paying off a significant amount of debt. This would also reduce the interest rate on future repayments.
There were multiple factors working against my clients in this case. As the couple were originally from Bangladesh, many lenders would consider them a ‘high-risk nationality’ and would be more reluctant to lend to them.
Banks that they had previously approached had questioned their income and their source of wealth. Since both came from wealthy families, they had additional assets to their own personal fortune.
Equally, it is very rare for any lender to be able to cover properties in all three locations: UAE, UK and Canada. Furthermore, it is difficult for banks to lend in Canada from outside the country due to recent government rule changes and a stagnating market over there.
Finally, as their base was in Dubai, all information would have to go through lengthy compliance, adding to the frustration of the process.
Despite these factors, I worked closely with a Canadian bank that has a significant international presence to procure ideal terms for my clients. We focused on the UK and Canadian properties, managing to secure a very reasonable 60% loan to value refinance across their portfolio.
This level of capital raised was enough to cover the debt they were looking to reduce while placing enough with the chosen lender as AUM for future purchases.
I negotiated a rate of 1.75% plus 3-month LIBOR on UK properties and a rate of 3% plus 3-month LIBOR on the Canada properties.