Emirates NBD to sell remaining stake in Dubai developer

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Dubai's largest bank, Emirates NBD, has classified its remaining 15 percent stake in Union Properties as "available for sale", the lender's chief financial officer said on Thursday.

The bank booked a gain of AED191m ($52 million) from the sale of 32.6 percent of Union Properties during the first nine months of 2013, it said in its third-quarter earnings statement earlier in the day.

Its remaining stake is now held as "available for sale" on its books, CFO Surya Subramanian told a media conference call.

While such a classification in its accounts indicates the bank might be a willing seller in future, it doesn't necessarily mean an active sale process is ongoing.

ENBD was Union Properties' largest shareholder at the beginning of 2013 but began reducing its stake as it looked to rebalance its real estate holdings to take advantage of the current upswing in the Dubaireal estate sector.

Dubai property prices plunged more than 50 percent after 2009 but have gained over 22 percent in the past 12 months, according to a report by consultants Jones Lang LaSalle earlier this month, leading to fears that the price growth could be unsustainable.

Union Properties' share price has risen 145 percent year-to-date, part of a wider stock market rally driven by renewed confidence in the local economy and the key real estate sector.

ENBD reported a 21 percent increase in third-quarter net profit earlier on Thursday, although a 50 percent rise in bad loan provisions year-on-year meant its profit was below analysts' forecasts.

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