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Emirates REIT to raise $135m in first Dubai IPO since 2009

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Reuters – A real estate investment trust, Emirates REIT, said on Tuesday that it planned to raise at least AED 500 million dirhams ($135m) in Dubai’s first initial public offer of shares since 2009.

The company will use proceeds from its IPO on the Nasdaq Dubai bourse for possible future acquisitions and investment in existing assets, Abdulla al-Hamli, chairman of its Management Board, told reporters.

The equity listing would be only the second on either of Dubai’s two stock exchanges since 2009; Bank of London and The Middle East, Britain’s largest stand-alone Islamic bank, listed its shares on Nasdaq Dubai last October without raising fresh capital.

Both IPOs and new listings dried up during Dubai’s financial crisis, which erupted in 2009, but stock prices are now soaring – the main Dubai index is up 153% since the end of 2012 – and several IPOs are in the pipeline, investment banking sources say.

REITs invest directly in properties and distribute profits as dividends. Shares in Emirates REIT could attract massive interest because they would be a way for small investors to gain exposure to Dubai’s red-hot property market, where residential prices jumped over 20% last year and may hit their pre-crisis peaks next year.

Emirates REIT, which was formed in 2010 as the UAE’s first REIT and complies with Islamic investment principles, appointed Shuaa Capital and Emirates NBD joint bookrunners for the IPO.

Karim Schoeib, chief executive for investment banking at Shuaa, said an investor roadshow for the offer in Gulf Arab countries and Europe including Britain would start in two weeks.

Current shareholders will not sell their shares in the IPO; new shares will be issued for the offer. The value of the company is not known yet and the IPO will be conducted through a book-building process, officials said. Nasdaq Dubai IPOs usually sell at least 25% of a company.

As of last December, Emirates REIT had 10 properties comprising 1.2 million square feet of net leasable area; its total assets were valued at about $333m, it said. Net profit climbed to $34.8m last year from $10.9m in 2012 and $1.2m in 2011.

Emirates REIT focuses on properties within Dubai but its investments may extend to other emirates in the UAE, officials said.

The fund, which now manages assets ranging from school buildings to business towers and retail space, distributed dividends of $5 per share for the 12-month period to 31 December, 2012 compared to $2.55 for 2011.

Dubai Islamic Bank currently owns 30.9% of the firm, two units of the Dubai Holding conglomerate own a combined 27.1%, Emirates NBD owns 4.5%, Egyptian investment bank EFG-Hermes has 4.2% and Dubai property developer Deyaar has 3.4%


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