By Stanley Carvalho
Abu Dhabi-based company eyeing major investments in Middle East, North Africa and Belarus.
Abu Dhabi's Al Maabar International Investments said on Sunday it plans to invest at least $1 billion in real estate projects in the Middle East, North Africa and Belarus despite a global credit crunch.
"We have very solid shareholders who will fund our projects if there is a credit crunch. For our immediate projects, we have the financing," managing director Yousef al-Nowais said.
Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate each own a 30 percent stake in the firm while the rest belongs to Reem Investments, Reem International and Al Qudra Holdings.
"For our long-term projects we cannot say how things will be in two years time ... We may have to take a different look. But our shareholders will support us," Nowais said.
The company has projects worth $11.5 billion under development currently in Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, Jordan, Qatar and Belarus.
Maabar's financing is a mix of equity and debt, Nowais said, declining to give details.
"At least one billion dollars will be spent over the next three years on these projects and more will be invested later depending on the projects progress," he said.
Maabar has signed an agreement with the government of Jordan to develop 3.2 million square metres as part of the redevelopment of the Red Sea city of Aqaba including the modernisation of the port, he said.
"This will be our landmark project with an estimated investment of $8.3 billion over two phases, to be completed in 2017." (Reuters)