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Tue 23 Sep 2008 09:33 AM

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No cut in foreign ownership - Aldar

Abu Dhabi developer says no change in foreign ownership rules planned despite share price volatility.

Aldar Properties will not reduce the percentage of foreign ownership in the company despite the exit of foreign investors that led to the fall of its share price in the last week, a senior executive said in comments published on Tuesday.

“We do not have any intention to reduce the percentage of foreign ownership set at 40 percent or increase it,” Abdalla Zamzam, chief corporate officer of the Abu Dhabi developer, told UAE daily Emirates Business.

Replying to a question whether foreign investors would withdraw from Aldar’s projects too, Zamzam said Abu Dhabi’s real estate market is different from the stock exchange.

“The company’s foreign investors will not withdraw. On the contrary, foreign investors want to increase their share of investments.”

Zamzam confirmed that foreign investments in the Abu Dhabi real estate market had increased following the subprime crisis.

“Abu Dhabi market has a lot of potential and is seeing an increasing demand for properties. Statistics show that Abu Dhabi needs 25,000 residential units for current year,” he said.

Ahmed Ali Al-Sayegh, Aldar’s chairman, told reporters at Emirates Palace Hotel on Sunday that properties in the capital will not be affected by the current global financial turmoil or the subprime crisis. He said this is because of increasing demand for real estate projects in the UAE capital.

“There is no reason to worry. Projects by developers including Aldar are going according to plan," Al-Sayegh said.

“Abu Dhabi’s overseas investments are not involved in the sub-prime crisis. In addition, foreign investments did not decrease in Abu Dhabi."