DIFC Investments returns to profit

Close to sukuk refinance deal, says Chairman

DIFC Investments, the investment arm of the company running Dubai's financial free zone, swung to a full-year profit in 2011, financial statements showed, and is close to a bank deal to refinance an upcoming Islamic bond maturity.

The firm is "committed" to the repayment of its $1.25 billion Islamic bond, or sukuk, Chairman Abdulla Mohammed Saleh said in a statement to Nasdaq Dubai.

DIFC Investments' financial records stated that an agreement to refinance the sukuk was close and that management was confident that final agreements were "imminent."

The company made a net profit of $130.5 million last year compared to a net loss of $272 million in the previous year, after the impact of discontinued operations.

Profit from continuing operations totaled $185.4 million compared to a loss of $286 million in 2010.

Rental income increased last year by 1.8 per cent over 2010 and total rental income generated from investment properties was $128 million.

During 2011, DIFC Investments sold Despec International, an IT distribution firm, for $27 million, with payment to be received in three installments by December 31 2013. The company received an amount of $15 million in 2011, in line with the installment plan, it said.

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