Dubai Investments wanted to buy Emirates NBD stake in UP: Kalban

Dubai Investments, a Dubai-based diversified conglomerate, had proposed to buy Emirates NBD's stake in Union Properties (UP), company CEO told Emirates 24/7

“We along with other investors gave them [Emirates NBD] proposal to acquire the full stake in Union Properties, but they opted to sell it in the open market,” Khalid Bin Kalban, Managing Director and CEO, Dubai Investments, told this website.

Asked if the company was looking at buying the remaining Union Properties stake from Emirates NBD, he said: “I don’t think they will be giving us... they said no… we will sell it in the open market, which is fine.’”

He, however, asserted: “It is their loss and not ours.”

In October, Emirates NBD Chief Financial Officer Surya Subramanian told a media conference call that they had classified the remaining 15 per cent stake in Union Properties as "available for sale.”

The bank had booked a gain of Dh191 million from the sale of 32.6 per cent of Union Properties during the first nine months of 2013, it had disclosed in its third quarter report.

ENBD, which was the largest shareholder of Union Properties at the beginning of 2013, started reducing its stake in the latter to rebalance its real estate holdings following an upswing in the real estate market.

Dubai property prices, which had dropped by over 50 per cent after 2009, have recovered and are up by over 20 per cent in 2013, according to UK-based Knight Frank.

Kalban is the Chairman of Union Properties, which has two joint ventures with Dubai Investments: Emicool, the district cooling company and Properties Investment, the developer of Green Community.

According to Kalban, Dubai Investments is expecting to announce net profits of over Dh800 million for 2013, driven by the real estate and financial portfolio.

In 2012, the company had reported Dh321.4 million in net profit. The conglomerate has 40 subsidiaries, which includes Dubai Investment Park and Emirates Glass.

Note: We had earlier mentioned that Abu Dhabi Investment House (ADIH) was a 'subsidiary' of Dubai Investments. However, it was later clarified that Dubai Investments has an ' equity stake' in ADIH and does not own it as a subsidiary. The error is regretted.

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