Emaar Properties mandates Citigroup to arrange US$1 billion debut Islamic facility
Global real estate major Emaar Properties has appointed Citigroup as lead manager and sole arranger of its debut US$1 billion Musharaka Islamic syndication. The five-year facility will primarily be used to finance the Emaar’s large-scale international projects and complete its multibillion projects in the UAE.
The syndicated Musharaka facility is the first debt issue for Emaar in terms of size and scope, and will be instrumental in meeting the company’s growth needs in the near future. Moreover, this pioneering transaction is crucial for reinforcing Emaar’s ties with global and regional financial powerhouses. A number of them are joining in as Mandated Lead Arrangers including National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Union National Bank, First Gulf Bank, HSBC, Mashreq Bank, ABN Amro and Royal Bank of Scotland. Furthermore, several other financial institutions are anticipated to participate in the syndication.
“This facility underscores our resolve to achieve our Vision 2010 of becoming one of the most valuable companies in the world through focused expansion and diversification internationally,” said Mr Mohamed Ali Alabbar, Chairman, Emaar Properties. “This medium-term fund is to meet the working capital requirements in developing infrastructure in our key areas of growth – in the UAE and internationally. Emaar’s international growth plans have been effectively charted out to mitigate performance, construction and distribution risks through strategic joint venture partnerships, alliances and acquisitions.”
Mr Alabbar added: “Working with top players in the field of global Islamic finance further enhances our position in the capital markets. Citigroup’s long expertise in this field and unmatched global network match our aspiration for a truly global financial partner with the right distribution capabilities.”
Mohammed Al-Shroogi, Corporate and Investment Banking Head for the Middle East and Chairman of Citi Islamic Investment Bank, said: “We are proud to play the role of lead manager and sole arranger of this landmark facility on behalf of Emaar Properties, the award-winning international developer. Through Citi Islamic Investment Bank, Citigroup has been a leading arranger of Islamic financing and we are honored to enhance Emaar’s profile in this rapidly growing financial market.”
Mohsin Nathani, Chief Executive and Managing Director for Citi Islamic Investment Bank, said: “This facility underlines Emaar’s growing status among top financial institutions as a world-class developer and a premium borrower. It also fits within our stated objective to grow our Islamic banking franchise in the Gulf and Asia Pacific region and to introduce a suite of products and services that cater to the growing needs of top corporate clients with global agendas.”
Emaar Properties, one of the world’s largest real estate companies, is listed on the Dubai Financial Market and is part of the Dow Jones Arabia Titans Index. The company is developing the landmark US$20 billion Downtown Burj Dubai project in Dubai, which has at its epicenter Burj Dubai, the tallest tower in the world when completed in 2008.
As part of its expansion plans, Emaar has unveiled projects in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Pakistan and India. Emaar has also announced diversification initiatives into education, hospitality, healthcare and retail. Recently, Emaar acquired John Laing Homes, America’s second largest privately held homebuilder; Hamptons International, UK’s premier international realtor; and Raffles Campus, Singapore’s premier educational provider.
Citigroup has been present in the Arab World for nearly fifty years and continues to view the region as critical to its global franchise. It is currently present in nine Arab countries: Egypt, UAE, Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Bahrain and Kuwait. It also serves clients in non-presence countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Qatar and Oman through Bahrain.