Nakheel seeks $1bn via dirham sukuk



Nakheel, the real estate arm of Dubai World, plans to raise up to $1 billion (Dh3.67bn) by selling two-year dirham-denominated benchmark sukuk floating-rate notes (FRN), a senior company executive said.

“We will begin our roadshow next week and plan to raise this amount, depending on the market perception, by the end of May,” Nakheel’s Chief Financial Officer Kar Tung Quek told Emirates Business. It will use the funds to finance its existing projects and has appointed Dubai Islamic Bank, JPMorgan and NBD Investment Bank as joint book runners.

Pricing will be decided after the book-building process is completed, the CFO said. According to Quek, the company’s current gearing ratio stands at 25 per cent, which it is planning to increase to at least 35 per cent. He, however, did not give a time frame in which this would be achieved. “We will raise funds when we need them,” he said.

In February, Nakheel’s Chief Executive Chris O’Donnell told Emirates Business that his company would raise more than Dh2.8bn through two real estate investment trusts, or Reits, by the end of this year.

The company has raised $3.5bn through convertible sukuk that are listed on the Dubai International Financial Exchange, and are set to mature in December 2009.

Nakheel’s full-year profit for 2007 more than quadrupled, with net income increasing to Dh4.69bn, or Dh5.66 a share, from Dh1.01bn, or Dh1.42 a share, a year earlier, the company said in a statement to the DIFX. Revenue rose 9.8 per cent to Dh13.2bn. The firm has raised Dh20bn from sale of land and finished units in 2007, Quek said, adding the company recognises revenues from any project only when 40 per cent of construction is completed.