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Tue 7 Jul 2009 03:59 PM

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Deyaar eyes move into Iraq - CEO

UPDATE 1: Dubai's second largest developer aims to extend Middle East reach.

Deyaar eyes move into Iraq - CEO
CAPITAL CITY: Deyaars CEO said on Tuesday the company was looking at expanding into Iraq, whose capital city is Baghdad. (Getty Images)

Deyaar said on Tuesday it was seriously considering expanding into Iraq as the developer looks to extend its reach across the Middle East.

“It is one we are looking at right now. Iraq is an interesting country,” Deyaar CEO Marcus Giebel said on Tuesday.

“The stabilisation process is coming, there is no large scale developer in the market. If you have the risk reward appetite it’s a country you could move into,” he added.

Although Deyaar, Dubai’s second largest listed developer, has raised the possibility of moving into a high risk market like Iraq before, Giebel’s comments on Tuesday are the clearest indication yet that the company is actively exploring the move.

Giebel added it would be "wrong for shareholders" if Deyaar didn’t consider potential deals in Iraq. The company is also looking at other emerging markets such as India and Saudi Arabia.

In March, Deyaar unveiled a string of drastic measures to help it ride out the property downturn in the emirate.

As part of the cost-saving programme, it said it would launch a series of property funds of up to AED1bn ($272.3m) each to buy up distressed assets, including its own.

Deyaar will start raising funds next week for a AED500m ($136.2m) fund and will look to close it by the end of the year, Giebel said.

The three year close ended fund will start investing in assets early next year.

"We have just finished all the documentation and will start fund raising next week," he said.

"The fund raising will go on until the end of the year and then we will close it," he added.

shakir 10 years ago

It is very wrong for these "developers" to start thinking of going abroad before they "made their bones" at home. Can't they learn from Emaar's mistakes? Emaar received a bloody nose in America, Algeria, India. Had it stayed in the UAE where it had many previllages, the situation would have been much different. And who wants to be in Irak, anyway, unless this is a ploy to make funds disappear?