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Thu 15 Jan 2015 10:15 AM

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Dubai's Emaar says watching market conditions for hotels IPO

Advisor claimed a planned listing was likely to happen in the second half of this year

Dubai's Emaar says watching market conditions for hotels IPO
(AFP/Getty Images)

Emaar Properties, Dubai's
largest listed real estate developer, is watching the markets closely to make a
decision on a time frame for listing its hotels business, the company said on
Thursday.

"The timing of the IPO will be dependent on
the market conditions. We are watching the markets closely and will take a
decision to list at the appropriate time," an Emaar spokesperson said in
an emailed statement to Reuters.

This comes after a Bloomberg report said Emaar had
hired Rothschild as advisor for a planned listing of the hotels operations in
the second half of this year.

Shares in Emaar were up 2.6 percent to 7.90 dirhams
in early trade on Thursday as part of an overall market rally.

"Emaar's strategy is to make its business
segments independent listed companies. This approach aims to provide the
businesses with appropriate financial and operational means to grow faster and
become among the most successful companies in their industries," the
statement added.

The developer sold a 15.4 percent stake in
retailing unit Emaar Malls Group in an initial public offer in September,
raising $1.6 billion after a heavy oversubscription. After the listing, it said
an offer of Emaar Hospitality would follow "as soon as possible".

Earlier, Emaar Properties also revealed it has agreed with banks to slash the interest rate on a $500 million syndicated loan, in the latest example of a local company winning a cut in funding costs from cash-flush bank lenders.

Dubai's largest listed developer and a bellwether of the emirate's main bourse, Emaar said in a statement to Reuters that as of December 11, the pricing on the loan had fallen by 1.5 percent, with banks agreeing to the London interbank offered rate plus 1.25 percent.

Margins on the loan will range to 1.75 percent based on loan drawdown proportions, it added.

The loan was signed in September 2013 with $450 million to mature in 2018 and $50 million to come due in 2020, according to Thomson Reuters data. Emaar did not reveal how many banks were in the syndicate or identify them by name, but said it mostly consisted of banks from the United Arab Emirates.

Emaar reported a 21 percent rise in third-quarter net profit in October. Dubai's government has a minority stake in Emaar.

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