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Mon 18 Aug 2008 11:16 AM

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UP gearing up to launch $7bn of projects

Developer plans to develop 15 million feet in joint venture with Dubai gov't.

Dubai-listed Union Properties plans to launch 25 billion dirhams ($6.81 billion) of new projects soon, after boosting its land bank in partnership with the Dubai government, its chief financial officer said.

Zaid Ghoul told Al-Khaleej newspaper that Dubai's second largest developer by market value was planning to develop 15 million feet in a joint venture with the Dubai government.

The firm was also expecting to add another 35 million feet to its land portfolio, he said.

Union Properties told newswire Reuters last week it planned to borrow $1 billion by the end of the year to help finance projects and was seeking to raise its foreign ownership limit to 30 percent.

The firm's second-quarter net profit surged 106 percent to 317.7 million dirhams, beating analysts' forecasts.

Ghoul told Reuters in June that the company was hoping to add 40-60 million square feet to its land bank.

Shares of Union Properties, down almost 15 percent this month to Sunday's close, were up 0.66 percent at 0635 GMT. (Reuters)

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