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Nakheel CEO Says Emaar Unit IPO Success To Encourage Listing Plans

Nakheel CEO Says Emaar Unit IPO Success To Encourage Listing Plans

“Should we decide to list shares, the market will receive it well,” said Sanjay Manchanda.

The chief executive of Dubai’s palm island developer Nakheel said the success of a share sale by the malls unit of rival Emaar Properties could encourage it to list its own shares on the emirate’s stock market.

Emaar, Dubai’s largest real estate developer, is aiming to raise as much as $1.58 billion from the offer of shares in Emaar Malls Group (EMG), which is expected to be the Gulf’s biggest stock sale since 2008.

Institutional investors covered their portion of the deal after one day of marketing, and the flotation is expected to encourage others into listing shares after a drought of initial public offerings in the emirate in recent years.

Government-owned Nakheel, famous for building the palm shaped island off Dubai’s coast, is also looking at various options to raise funds, including listing its shares, said chief executive Sanjay Manchanda.

“The market is definitely very receptive to Dubai IPOs now. The success of Emaar will be an encouraging sign for us. Should we decide to list shares, the market will receive it well,” he told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of a real estate exhibition in Dubai.

He added that the company is considering various options to raise funds including an IPO.

“An IPO is a strategic decision which would be taken by the shareholders of the company.”

He said no banks or legal advisors have been appointed so far to look at a possible listing.

Nakheel was one of the worst-hit firms by Dubai’s property crash and subsequent debt crisis at many state-owned firms at the end of the last decade, with the company requiring a multi-billion-dollar debt restructuring.

However, as the local real estate market has rebounded from its nadir, where prices slumped more than 50 per cent from their 2008 peak, Nakheel’s fortunes have improved and it said last month it had repaid its outstanding pre-crisis debt worth Dhs7.9 billion ($2.15 billion) four years ahead of schedule.

As part of a shift in strategy away from being purely a real estate developer, it is gradually moving into the retail and hospitality sector, as it looks to improve its recurring income.

The developer launched a three-tower waterfront living and leisure complex called The Palm Gateway at property exhibition Cityscape on Sunday, which would have more than 1,300 homes, a beach club, retail, dining and health and fitness facilities. The project cost is estimated at around Dhs3 billion.


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