Almana sells Islamic bonds worth Dh599m

Qatari family business Almana Group yesterday said it sold $163.4 million (Dh599m) of UAE dirham-denominated Islamic bonds to help finance realty projects in its home country.

The five-year floating-rate mudaraba sukuk was priced at 250 basis points above the three-month Emirates Interbank Offered Rate (EIBOR), group chief financial controller P Chatterji said.

Three-month EIBOR is currently at 1.94 per cent.

"It is basically for expansion and a major part will go into real estate projects, especially a tower in Qatar," Chatterji said.

Almana, which operates in sectors ranging from car dealerships to construction, will list the bonds on the Dubai International Financial Exchange, he said.

The sukuk are denominated in dirhams, highlighting increasing investor appetite for Gulf securities on speculation countries in the region may revalue their currencies to stave off rising inflation.

Activity is on the rise with many companies planning issues or completing new issues, including mammoth chemicals firm Saudi Basic Industries Corporation and Nakheel, which sold almost $1bn of Islamic bonds in early May.

Ras Al Khaimah announced a sukuk programme earlier this month worth up to $2bn, the first tranche of which is likely to be in dirhams.

The numbers

1.94%: The rate of three-month Eibor

$2bn: The value of Ras Al Khaimah sukuk