Emaar Properties, Dubai’s largest listed developer, may take its hotels unit public after the successful listing of its malls and retail subsidiary, the company’s chairman told reporters on Thursday.
Emaar sold a 15.4 per cent stake in Emaar Malls Group (EMG) in an initial public offer last month, raising $1.6 billion after heavy oversubscription. The stock jumped 13 per cent after listing on Thursday.
This week, local media quoted its chairman Mohamed Alabbar as saying that the hotels unit could follow in a few months. However, on Thursday, Alabbar declined to indicate any timetable for the flotation.
“Emaar Hospitality is going to go public when the board of the company decides. The percentage, size and when – all of that I will come back to you with. But the intention is to move forward as soon as possible,” he said on the sidelines of an event to mark the start of trading in EMG.
“We are in the business of enhancing shareholder value,” Alabbar said. “If there is value to be created for shareholders, then that is what we will do.”
There are no dedicated hotel operators among Dubai’s listed stocks, although tourism is one of the key sectors of the emirate’s economy.
EMG was the second stock listing on the Dubai bourse in just over a week, following a five-year hiatus, after start-up retailer Marka debuted on Sept. 25.
That IPO – albeit only worth Dhs275 million – was hugely oversubscribed by investors as well, and the shares jumped 59 per cent on its first trading day, indicating strong demand for fresh equity.