Aldar Properties sets Islamic bond price guidance

Abu Dhabi's Aldar Properties, the UAE’s second-largest property developer by market value, on Sunday set initial guidance for its benchmark dirham-denominated Islamic bond sale.

The five-year Islamic bonds, or sukuk, would be priced at 150-175 basis points over three-month Emirates Interbank Offered Rate (EIBOR), the company said in a statement on Sunday.

Three-month EIBOR was at 1.88 per cent at 0735 GMT, according to Reuters data. There are 100 basis points in a percentage point.

Aldar has said it would use the money raised from the sale to finance its projects.

With about $65 billion (Dh239.2 billion) of projects in the pipeline, the property company has been raising funds to spearhead the Abu Dhabi government's drive to develop residential and leisure districts in the world's fifth-largest oil exporter.

The firm has not outlined the size of the sale, but two arranging bankers, who declined to named, told Reuters in May it could range from benchmark size to $1.5 billion (Dh5.52 billion) in value, depending on investor demand.

Benchmark size varies from $500 million to $700 million (Dh1.84 billion to 2.58 billion).

Aldar is one of a crop of borrowers to return to the Islamic bond market with a dirham issue in recent weeks after bond sales slowed in the second half of last year.

A global credit crunch triggered by defaults on US home loans had prompted several Gulf borrowers to postpone issuance.

Expectations that Gulf Arab states may revalue their dollar-pegged currencies to dampen soaring inflation has seen investors pile into Gulf securities denominated in local currencies, breathing life back into the sukuk market.

Other borrowers to sell dirham sukuk in recent weeks include:

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority with a benchmark sale, priced at 125 basis points over six-month EIBOR, at the top end of previously indicated price guidance.

Property developer Nakheel with a sale worth $980 million priced at 225 basis points over six-month EIBOR, at the lower end of previously indicated price guidance.

UAE federation member Ras al-Khaimah, with $272 million (Dh1 billion) sale priced at 115 basis points above three-month EIBOR.

Qatar's Almana Group with sale worth $163.4 million (Dh601 million) priced at 250 basis points above three month EIBOR.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Barclays Capital, Credit Suisse, Dubai Islamic Bank, First Gulf Bank, Lehman Brothers, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Noor Islamic Bank are the bookrunners, Aldar said in the statement posted on the bourse website.