S&P upgrades Emaar to ‘BBB-’

The long-term corporate credit rating on Emaar Properties, the global developer of ionic projects, has been upgraded by Standard & Poor’s Rating Services to ‘BBB-’ from ‘BB+’ with a stable outlook.

The rating reflects the sound performance of Emaar’s shopping mall and hospitality assets, and the successful launch and presale of high-margin developments in Dubai.

The enhanced rating by Standard & Poor’s follows the recent upgrade by EFG Hermes of Emaar to ‘buy’ status from ‘neutral’ in addition to raising its fair value to Dh10.1 from Dh6.

Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties, said: “The upgraded rating by Standard & Poor’s reflects the strong financial fundamentals of the company, and the success of our business expansion into shopping malls & retail and hospitality & leisure, which contribute significantly to our recurring revenues.

“Led by the positive growth of Dubai, Emaar will continue to focus on our core competencies of developing prime real estate assets and strengthening our mall and hospitality businesses, to create long-term value for our stakeholders.

“The ambitious infrastructure development planned in preparation for hosting the Dubai Expo 2020 and the city’s Tourism Vision 2020 announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, will serve as our strong growth drivers,” he added.

Standard & Poor’s has assessed Emaar’s status as a successful developer and property investment company. “Emaar has a high grade asset portfolio generating growing earnings and cash flow, an attractive land bank and a reputation for high quality development,” the report noted.

Underlining the strong performance of Emaar’s shopping mall & retail business, the company’s flagship development, The Dubai Mall welcomed over 75 million visitors in 2013, a 15 per cent growth in over 2012, with an average monthly footfall of 6.25 million. The mall’s 1,200 plus retail outlets recorded a 26 per cent rise in sales during 2013 compared to the previous year.

Recurring revenues from Emaar’s shopping malls & retail sector was Dh2.297 billion during the first nine months of 2013, which was 22 per cent higher than the revenue of Dh1.882 billion during the same period in 2012.

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