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Mon 3 Mar 2014 10:34 AM

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Dubai’s Emirates denies IPO plans

Airline's president Tim Clark says no talks over possible float for “four or five years”

Dubai’s Emirates denies IPO plans

A senior executive at Dubai’s Emirates Airline has denied a report that the carrier will list in an initial public offering (IPO) in the near future.

On Sunday, Britain’s The Telegraph newspaper quoted Investment Corporation of Dubai CEO Mohammed Al Shaibani as saying that state-controlled companies in the emirate could potentially float on the London Stock Exchange.

“We have a lot of entities here [in Dubai] that can also go public and that should be a fantastic way to raise capital if we need it,” he said.

Al Shaibani reportedly said that Emirates, along with Dubai Airports, budget carrier flyDubai and aluminium smelter EMAL were among those entities that could be sold at some point to raise funds.

However, speaking to Al Arabiya, Emirates president Sir Tim Clark said that the airline was under “no instructions” to list on any stock market.

“We are under no instructions on IPOs whatsoever,” Clark said. “It hasn’t come up in conversation for four or five years.”

Emirates is aiming to carry 70m passengers by 2020, while its current annual revenues exceed $21bn. It is one of the largest airlines in the world by passenger traffic, with a fleet that will eventually reach 250 aircraft.

Shaibani indicated that it was unlikely that the airline would float in the near future, however, as there was still value to be created in the meantime.

“We are dead serious. I cannot list it [Emirates] now because there is still value to be created there. We don’t want to give away value just like that,” he continued.

“Ideally we would like to list here but we also have the option of a secondary listing on the London Stock Exchange, which is very strategic for us because we are the largest shareholders.”

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