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Mon 6 Oct 2008 01:28 PM

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Deyaar eyeing acquisitions to drive expansion

Dubai developer sets target of having 50% of built up land portfolio outside UAE by 2009.

Deyaar eyeing acquisitions to drive expansion
EYEING ACQUISITIONS: Deyaar said it plans to significantly expand internatinoally over the next year. (ITP Images)

Dubai real estate firm Deyaar Development plans to expand significantly in the Middle East over the next year and is eyeing international acquisitions to drive this growth, its CEO told Arabian Business on Monday.

Speaking on the sidelines of Cityscape, Markus Giebel said Deyaar has a target of having 50 percent of its built up land portfolio outside the UAE by 2009, but admitted the current liquidity squeeze could slow growth.

Asked how the credit crunch will affect Deyaar's growth, Giebel said if the squeeze continues through 2009 then the company's expansion plans could be pushed back until 2010, "but the targets remain the same".

However, Giebel said the company has enough money to finance current projects.

Giebel said Deyaar is targeting expansion in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Tunisia, describing oil producing nations as a "safe bet".

Deyaar will consider acquisitions in target markets, "but the company would have to have a land bank", he said.

Giebel said Deyaar will go to the debt market to fund part of this expansion.

Asked how much the company plans to borrow, he said it "will be in line with financially sound targets", without being more specific.

Deyaar Development said on Saturday third quarter profit rose 56 percent on the back of increased property sales.

The company posted Q3 net profit of 312 million dirhams ($84.9 million), or 0.213 fils per share, compared to 200.2 million dirhams, or 0.137 fils per share, for the same period last year.

Giebel said on Saturday the company was in talks with other developers "to establish local partnerships and joint ventures in key international markets".

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