Dubai Islamic Bank, the largest Islamic Bank in the UAE, has announced today that it has signed an agreement with Union Properties PJSC, the property developer, to provide it with an AED 360 million re-financing facility.
The Islamic re-financing facility from Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) will assist Union Properties (UP) to effectively manage its balance sheet and to enhance focus on its core business / expansion plans as the developer looks to capitalize on the opportunities currently available in the real estate market. Emerging strongly from the financial crisis, the developer is moving forward with its growth plans after having repaid AED 7 billion worth of legacy bank debt.
Dr. Adnan Chilwan, CEO of Dubai Islamic Bank and Ahmed Al Marri, General Manager of Union Properties signed the agreement in the presence of senior executives from both institutions at a signing ceremony held recently.
Commenting on the agreement, Dr. Adnan Chilwan said: “The real estate sector in the UAE has rebounded strongly on the back of the economy’s core fundamentals. The current and planned infrastructure of Dubai and the UAE positions the country amongst the most attractive markets in the world for business growth and prosperity. The expatriate population has seen a significant rise over the recent past as the nation relentlessly progresses towards establishing itself as the hub for regional and global names. With key regulations in place and optimum enforcement of the same by relevant authorities, the industry is now on a solid and sustainable growth path. Given the current scenario, quality names like Union Properties are uniquely positioned to capitalize on the opportunities that Dubai and UAE represent, and DIB with its rich heritage, expertise and highly liquid balance sheet, is the ideal partner for such strategic names.”
Real estate transactions in the UAE have grown at a rapid pace since 2012, with the volume of deals in Dubai increasing by about 50 percent over the past year - excluding remortgages and donations – according to Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency. Standards & Poor’s suggests that prices in the sector will continue to remain stable and will be backed by the strong macroeconomic growth in the UAE.
UP General Manager Ahmed Al Marri said: “Over the past few years, Union Properties has focused on strengthening its capital position by investing in its core fundamentals and repaying its legacy debt. As we have now successfully completed all these payments, we are well placed to move forward with our new growth strategy that is backed by our positive financial performances. As a result, we are proud to partner with the leading Islamic bank in the country, and this new financing arrangement with DIB represents a fresh start for the company.”
Mr. Naveed Ali, Chief of Corporate Banking at Dubai Islamic Bank said: “We have been a critical player, leading and participating in many key deals this year, and our arrangement with Union Properties is another promising addition to our finance book. It is part of our strategy of strengthening our balance sheet by selectively conducting business with major players in the commercial real estate market. Given UP’s strong financial performance this year, the repayment of all previous debt, as well as the growth in the real estate sector, we believe this deal to be another successful step in establishing a sustainable trend in the real estate sector.”
The bank has been involved in a number of landmark international and domestic corporate finance deals over the past year, including the USD 750 million Sukuk for Dubai Department of Finance. Indicative of its leadership in successfully arranging these deals, DIB was recently recognised as “Best Sukuk House, UAE” at the EMEA Finance Middle East Banking Awards 2013, in addition to winning “UAE Deal of the Year”, “Kuwait Deal of the Year” and “Pakistan Deal of the Year” at the Islamic Finance News awards 2014.