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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

UPDATE 1-Emaar Properties to list mall unit on Dubai bourse

Mon, May 26 03:06 AM EDT (Adds details) DUBAI, May 26 (Reuters) - Dubai's Emaar Properties said on Monday it will list up to 25 percent of its malls business on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), a shift from earlier plans to list on the emirate's smaller Nasdaq Dubai exchange. The builder of one the world's largest malls - Dubai Mall - said it had received regulatory approval for the primary listing of up to a quarter of Emaar Malls Group. Companies listing on DFM are normally required to float stakes of at least 55 percent but exceptions to the rule have been made in the past. Nasdaq Dubai has a much lower free float requirement of 25 percent, but it attracts less trading activity than the DFM and has only 10 listed equities. Timing of the offering and listing would be announced later, the statement said. It is expected to raise 8 to 9 billion dirhams ($2.18-$2.45 billion), making it one of the region's largest equity offers since 2008. Company officials previously said there might be a dual listing on Nasdaq Dubai, the smaller of the emirate's two exchanges, and on the London Stock Exchange. It was not clear whether the company still plans to list in London. Dubai luxury developer DAMAC, the only real estate firm from the emirate to list in London, got a lukewarm response to its share offering in a sign that international investors are still wary of the emirate's property market despite a recent recovery in prices. Sources told Reuters in April that the developer is talking to regulators about the possibility of listing its shopping malls unit on the DFM. The listing is a boost for the Dubai bourse where new IPO activity had died down after the emirate's financial crisis in 2009. A recovery in the economy has prompted more companies to consider new listings. (Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by David French and Jason Neely) ============================== UAE mid-table in property transparency index Lucy Barnard June 22, 2014 Updated: June 23, 2014 09:09:00 Dubai came 49th and Abu Dhabi 53th in a transparency index of 102 global real estate markets. ■ ‘Property booms are good for UAE economy’, says Damac boss ■ Dubai landlord insists on rent rise at any time if ‘Rera calculator says so’ Photos In pictures: Dh44 million penthouse at Elite Residence is ‘cheap’ ■ Dubai Courts list sheds light on 36 cancelled projects ■ Dubai and Abu Dhabi rental yields may indicate overheating, says UAE Central Bank The new table – which measured real estate markets, most of them national, based on the ease with which property could be bought, sold and valued – ranks Dubai and Abu Dhabi as retaining their places as the top two markets in the Middle East and North Africa. When the study was last conducted in 2012, Dubai ranked 47th and Abu Dhabi came 52nd out of 97. “The UAE has retained its position as the most transparent real estate market in the region, although there has been little further progress made over the past two years,” said JLL, the property consultancy that prepared the index. Overall, the UAE placed behind countries including India, China, Botswana and Thailand in the index. Libya came bottom of the table of the 102 countries surveyed, preceded by Senegal and Myanmar. JLL said that Dubai, which had featured among its “top improvers” in previous surveys “appeared to have lost some impetus” and to have been ”treading water” over the past couple of years. The assessment comes despite the Dubai Land Department putting forward a series of measures aimed at improving the legislative and regulatory environment in an attempt to avoid another real estate bubble. These include a doubling of property transfer fees last year, the announcement of unified real estate contracts and a move by the Central Bank to introduce loan- to-value ratios on mortgages. The report found that Abu Dhabi had a more regulated planning system than Dubai and the quality of real estate was higher than Dubai in several sectors, reinforcing Abu Dhabi’s position as the second most transparent market in the Mena region. However, the report found that there had been “disappointingly little progress elsewhere” in the region. “The Middle East and North Africa remains one of the least transparent regions in the world,” JLL said in its report. “Following encouraging signs of improvement in transparency prior to the global financial crisis, the region has not maintained momentum. While there is increasing recognition across Mena of the importance of improving real estate transparency, in most cases this has failed to translate into firm action.” The Dubai Land Department was unavailable to comment when contacted by The National, while Abu Dhabi’s Urban Planning Council declined to comment. A partner in real estate at the law firm DLA Piper said the emirates would benefit from updated property laws. “The fact that both Dubai and Abu Dhabi have not improved in the rankings in this report probably reflects the fact that there has not really been any new real estate legislation enacted in the emirates over the last two years,” Duncan Pickering said. “In Abu Dhabi the market has been expecting five new real estate laws since 2007 or 2008 on issues such as strata title, an interim register of off-plan sales and escrow accounts. In Dubai there are also laws which have been proposed but not enacted yet,” he said. “And there are a number of issues surrounding successfully implementing existing legislation.” Mr Pickering said transparency attracts investors by reducing perceived risk. “International investors take a global view and compare lots of different markets when they are deciding where to put their money,” he said. “They are usually attracted to markets which have higher levels of transparency so that they can reduce risk. At the moment this is a very competitive market with lots of countries attempting to attract that cash.” JLL singled out Qatar, placing the country on its global top 10 improvers list alongside Zambia, Serbia and Colombia. The improvement came after Qatar announced a new “open data” policy earlier this year which involves plans to release a large quantity of government held, non-personal data to residents and to improve public access to the land registry and other real estate data. Countries were given a composite score based on 115 individual data points and questions for each market. These were based around each country’s transaction processes, regulatory and legal transparency, governance of listed vehicles, the amount of reliable property market data available and the way in which property performance is measured. The United Kingdom retained top spot in the global survey, followed by the United States and Australia. JLL said that over the past two years, it had noted an improvement in transparency from more than 80 per cent of the markets it surveyed as developing countries attempt to attract inward investment to their real estate markets. “The world’s dominant commercial real estate markets are in better shape than at any time since the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-09,” JLL added. “Levels of capital markets activity are returning to pre-crisis levels and real estate investors are moving up the risk curve into new geographies and property types. Meanwhile, corporates are now executing long-term portfolio strategies and selectively extending their footprints into emerging markets.” “As momentum builds across the global real estate markets, investors, developers and corporate occupiers are demanding (and expecting) ever greater levels of real estate transparency – in terms of legal and regulatory enforcement, financial disclosure, fairness of transaction processes and access to high-quality market data and performance benchmarks.” lbarnard@thenational.ae Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/industry-insights/property/uae-midtable-in-property-transparency-index#ixzz35WbgCqVp Follow us: @TheNationalUAE on Twitter | thenational.ae on Facebook ==================================

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