GLOBAL - The US subsidiary of UK investment manager Grosvenor is to create a $600m (€450m) fund targeting US healthcare assets for the Kuwait Finance House (KFH), an AUM $37bn Islamic bank that manages real estate assets for the Kuwait Investment Authority sovereign wealth fund.

Grosvenor's US subsidiary will create the segregated account based on assets it already owns in line with KFH's real estate investment strategy to "target profitable real estate in major markets".

The fund will target private-sector old people's homes and medical office buildings via joint ventures with local and regional partners.

A spokeswoman for Grosvenor told IP Real Estate: "Investors are moving into those assets not only because they offer a hedge against inflation but because the structure of the US healthcare system makes them profitable. In that sense, the US is one step ahead of the UK."

KFH head of international real estate Ali O al-Ghannam said growing healthcare expenditures in the US, combined with favourable demographics, would drive long-term growth in the US healthcare sector.

This will be the second fund Grosvenor has created for the Kuwaiti house. The first, launched in 2004, focused on old people's homes in New England via a joint venture with a local provider.

KFH sold the portfolio in 2007 for $268m, at a return of 26%.

A condition of both mandates has been that all investments - including not only the assets themselves but underwriting, construction, financing, asset management and exit strategies - comply with Shariah law.

A panel of Islamic bankers last week forecast that funding for global infrastructure would increasingly become Shariah-compliant as Gulf sovereign wealth funds made compliance a requirement for the provision of finance.

The Grosvenor spokeswoman said the group was seeing an increase in investors from the sovereign wealth fund pool targeting joint ventures and club funds.

In addition to Middle East sovereign wealth funds, it manages real estate separate accounts for US public pension schemes in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Colorado.