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Sun 23 Aug 2015 05:04 PM

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Emirates REIT ‘targets $136m of acquisitions’

Sylvain Vieujot claims the softening real estate market presents new opportunities

Emirates REIT ‘targets $136m of acquisitions’
Sylvain Vieujot, Emirates REIT executive deputy chairman.

The UAE’s only real estate investment trust has reportedly set aside AED500 million ($136 million) for acquisitions as the property market in Dubai cools.

Sylvain Vieujot, Emirates Reit’s executive deputy chairman, told the National: “The fact that the market is softening and the number of transactions is significantly lower means when you are a buyer you are in a better position.”

He added: “We are looking at something with a good cash flow that will help us deliver better returns.”

The Nasdaq-listed company has eight properties at present, which had a total value of AED2.3 billion at the end of June.

It is investing AED208.3 million to develop an education complex at Damac’s Akoya project, and last year bought 17 out of 25 office floors, 1,426 car parking spaces and the whole retail component of Index Tower in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) – which was its biggest acquisition to date, according to the National.

While the real estate market continues to cool in Dubai at present – ratings agency Standard & Poor’s forecast in June that property prices would fall by between 10 and 20 percent over the rest of the year and early 2016 - Vieujot insisted this would not have a negative impact on Emirates REIT.

“We have less demand, but it is not really having a financial impact on us. We manage to keep our prices” he was quoted as saying.

Emirates REIT has been contacted for further comment.

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