April 22, 2012 / 8:59 AM / 6 years ago

Aldar says no financial help needed from Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi’s Aldar Properties (ALDR.AD) is committed to repaying all its debt and does not need more financial support from the government of Abu Dhabi, the company’s deputy chief executive told reporters on Sunday.

“We won’t need more (financial) help, we are comfortable on the financing side,” Mohammed Al Mubarak said on the sidelines of a property conference.

“We are committed to all our debts and they will be paid, we are in a healthy financial position,” he added.

Aldar’s $1.25 billion 10.75 percent bond, maturing 2014 was bid at 109.5 on Saturday, according to Thomson Reuters data, to yield 5.847 percent, about 23 basis points tighter since beginning of the month.

The builder of the Yas Marina Formula One circuit, which was forced to sell key projects to the government including the Ferrari World Theme Park, is generating income from the lease of “many residential and retail projects”, Al Mubarak said.

“Our model has to be to build more projects,” he added.

Aldar, which has been bailed out twice by the Abu Dhabi government with rescue packages totaling over $10 billion, last week secured a 4-billion-dirham ($1.09 billion) credit facility from National Bank of Abu Dhabi NBAD.AD, a deal expected to help the developer manage its liquidity needs.

State-owned investment fund Mubadala MUDEV.UL, which holds a near-majority position in Aldar said last month that it transferred a 14 percent stake in the developer to secure a loan facility from Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB.AD).

Shares of Aldar were up 2.8 percent at 1.12 dirhams at 0837 GMT.

CONSOLIDATION

Aldar, which is in talks for a possible merger with rival Sorouh Real Estate SOR.AD, is considering tapping the low income housing market in the emirate.

“One aspect untapped is low income housing and there is also demand for mid income housing. We are studying several options there,” Al Mubarak said.

“Abu Dhabi market is growing - on that front it has to be managed, this could be either through consolidation or other means,” he said.

The state-backed tie-up between Aldar and Sorouh to create a company worth some $15 billion in assets comes as prices slide in the emirate’s real estate sector, which has not recovered from the downturn seen after the 2008 global financial crisis. Property firms have been forced to cancel projects and restructure their huge pile of debt.

Sorouh, which has assets of 14.1 billion dirhams, has fared better than its bigger rival, supported by a focus on existing project completion and delivery.

While Dubai’s real estate crisis came as a shock to global markets, the Abu Dhabi reckoning has been a more gradual and incremental process as real-estate values continue to slide in the emirate.

Reporting by Praveen Menon and Stanley Carvalho, Writing by Mirna Sleiman, Editing by Sitaraman Shankar

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