ETA Star reveals three year listing plans

ETA Ascon and its property development offshoot ETA Star will list in either Dubai or on the mid-tier AIM market in London within three years to fund its massive overseas expansion plans, ETA Star executive director Abid Junaid has exclusively revealed to Arabian Business.
ETA Star reveals three year listing plans
By James Bennett
Sun 14 Jan 2007 12:00 AM

ETA Ascon and its property development offshoot ETA Star will list in either Dubai or on the mid-tier AIM market in London within three years to fund its massive overseas expansion plans, ETA Star executive director Abid Junaid has exclusively revealed to
Arabian Business

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The multi-billion Dirham privately held business and developers of the iconic Taj Resort and Grandeur Residences on the Palm Crescent is run under the Al Ghurair umbrella and is planning to have 40% of its portfolio overseas by 2010.

“ETA is a privately-held company but would certainly consider listing when the time is right. When there is a need for us to fund our expansion by going to the stock market we would do it,” said Junaid.

“Currently we are funding our expansion through internal resources generated through liquidity as well as through debt but we have ambitious plans to go to overseas markets and when the time is right we will do that and we are certainly looking at this as an option,” he added.

Asked where the company would choose to list, Junaid suggested the business was “seriously considering” either raising an IPO in Dubai or the mid-cap Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in London. ETA Star has 20 properties across the UAE, India and Sri Lanka including Goldcrest Dreams, Centrium and Al Manara in Business Bay in Dubai, but has huge growth plans to spread across other countries.

Junaid admitted that the UAE property market remained on an upward curve but that it would become saturated in five to ten years.

He said Qatar and Turkey were on the “immediate horizon” and that it had signed two Memorandums of Understanding with local developers and contractors in both countries and added that North Africa, the CIS countries and the Far East were next on ETA’s radar.

“We hope to get close to 40% of our portfolio in overseas markets by 2010 so we also looking at further expansion in India. “We already have a very big portfolio in India with projects in Bangalore, Chennai and Bombay and we also want to move across the country, spreading both to the north and to the south of the country. It will be a big market for us. The growth areas for the world economy are China and India and we have a huge focus in both areas,” he added.

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