Dale Crofts

Dubai: Emaar Properties PJSC, builder of the world’s tallest tower, said it expects to raise as much as $2.45 billion in the public offering of a 25% stake in its shopping malls and retail business after revenue surged.

The estimated 8 billion dirhams ($2.18 billion) to 9 billion dirhams generated from the secondary public offering in the Emaar malls and retail unit will primarily be distributed to the company’s shareholders as a dividend, according to an emailed statement today from Emaar. The Dubai-based company didn’t give a time frame for the share sale or location.

Emaar is benefiting from a tourism and retail boom in Dubai that’s driving up visitor numbers at its flagship malls and boosting sales. The malls and retail business posted a 20% increase in revenue to 2.84 billion dirhams in 2013, while the Dubai Mall received 75 million visitors last year.

Emaar’s shopping malls and retails subsidiary is our high-performing business, which derives its growth impetus from the sustained growth of Dubai, Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, said in the statement.

Emaar also said it proposed a cash dividend of 15% of the company’s share capital for 2013 as well as 10% bonus shares to shareholders.

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Emaar is the most recent company in the region to take advantage of surging markets and asset prices to plan public offerings. Emirates Reit, UAE-based real estate investment trust, will sell shares on Nasdaq Dubai in the first IPO in the sheikdom in at least five years, it said on 11 March. The company is seeking at least 500 million dirhams for acquisitions and investments.

Abu Dhabi’s Senaat, which owns companies including National Petroleum Construction Co., is seeking approval from the emirate for an IPO this year, two people familiar with the matter said last month. It hired HSBC Holdings Plc and JPMorgan Chase and Co. for a sale on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.

Dubai’s economy expanded about 4.9% in 2013, four years after it was rescued from near default with a $20 billion bailout from neighbouring Abu Dhabi. Property prices are surging and companies including real-estate developer Nakheel PJSC are repaying debt early to win back investor confidence.

Dubai’s benchmark DFM General Index has more than doubled in the past year and has gained 18% so far in 2014. Emaar rose more than 13% this year and gained 1.1% to 8.66 dirhams on 13 March. Bloomberg

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