Aldar CFO: business as usual after Moody's cut

Abu Dhabi's biggest property developer has 'no plans at this stage" to borrow this year.
(Getty Images)
By Stanley Carvalho
Sat 06 Mar 2010 07:46 AM

Aldar Properties, lowered to below investment grade by Moody's a day earlier, may see its cost of borrowing rise but faces little other impact from the downgrade, a top official said on Friday.

Chief Financial Officer Shafqat Malik added the company, Abu Dhabi's biggest property developer by market value, had "no plans at this stage" to borrow this year.

Moody's cut Aldar's rating to Ba1 from Baa2 with a negative outlook, as part of a downgrade of seven Abu Dhabi-linked companies which it pinned on a lack of explicit state support.

"As far as Aldar is concerned our business is as it was six months ago, it is going ahead," Malik told Reuters.

"We have not seen any change in the government since two years ago when we did the rating. It is the change in the methodology of Moody's."

Asked if it would now make borrowing more costly for Aldar, he said: "Nothing on the price side, of course it will be a bit expensive in the rating side."

Last month, Aldar reported its first-ever quarterly loss and said it expected short-term challenges.

Property firms in the United Arab Emirates were hit hard by the global downturn, which sent prices lower in the once-booming sector in the seven Gulf emirates. (Reuters)

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