Emaar's malls unit likely to issue sukuk this year

Sources say Emaar Malls will issue 10-year Islamic bond following investor meetings on Tuesday

(AFP/Getty Images)

(AFP/Getty Images)

The malls unit of Dubai's Emaar Properties is likely to issue 10-year sukuk this week, three sources with knowledge of the deal said, as the current environment makes it relatively easy to lock in longer-tenure funds at lower rates.

The debut sukuk may print after the firm concludes its investor meetings on Tuesday for a benchmark-sized offering.

Emaar Malls will issue sukuk using in an Islamic finance structure known as wakala, according to information given at investor meetings. In wakala sukuk, certificates are issued by an originator to purchase specific assets, which are then given to an agent for management.

The potential benchmark sukuk comes ahead plans by Emaar Properties, rated BBB minus by Standard & Poor's, the lowest investment grade, to sell a quarter of its unit to the public.

Emaar Malls anticipates distributing 70 percent of its excess annual cash flow as dividends, it said in an investor presentation.

The malls unit owns Dubai Mall, one of the world's biggest shopping centres, and is looking to leverage on the emirate's retail boom and rising consumption to achieve tight pricing for its sukuk.

Dubai, which nearly defaulted on its debt in 2009 after a property bubble burst, is now seeing healthy economic growth. The United Arab Emirates economy grew 5.2 percent in 2013, the fastest pace since 2006, data from the national statistics office showed on Sunday.

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