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Wed 17 Dec 2008 01:54 AM

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Abu Dhabi's Sorouh says primary market steady

Secondary market has 'softened' where 'speculative' buyers looking to sell.

Abu Dhabi's Sorouh Real Estate said demand for its property remains steady in the primary market but has softened in the secondary market in recent months."There is no slowdown in what we are selling directly in recent months but there is certainly a softening in the secondary market," said Samer Abu Hijeh, Sorouh's chief operating officer.

"In the secondary market, high numbers are looking to sell and that's attributed to speculative buyers wanting to get out of their positions and they are discounting selling price," he told Reuters by telephone.

He said the fundamentals of Abu Dhabi's real estate market are sound due to strong demand for housing. "So we are optimistic we will ride out any slowdown."

Sorouh has launched projects worth 70 billion dirhams ($19.06 billion) and they are progressing as the company is able to secure funding, he said.

"All our projects are proceeding as per plan. Sorouh has been able to secure funding even in a limited liquidity situation," he said, declining to be specific on how much funding the company has secured.

But Sorouh is "cautiously optimistic" for 2009, particularly in launching projects overseas. "We are watching how the situation will be next year and for the international markets, we have to be more careful to ensure that we do not do things prematurely," he said.

Sorouh has announced plans to launch projects in Morocco and Egypt. (Reuters)

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