Eshraq plans $224m IPO in Feb

A digital image of Eshraq's Marine Rise project in Abu Dhabi's Reem Island. (SUPPLIED)

UAE property firm Eshraq plans to sell a 55 per cent stake worth an estimated $224 million in an initial public offering in February and list on the Abu Dhabi stock exchange, a banker close to the deal said on Wednesday.

The Abu Dhabi-based banker, speaking on condition of anonymity, said several UAE banks are involved in the IPO which will offers 825 million shares. Eshraq has a total capital of Dh1.5 billion ($408.4 million), he told Reuters.

"After the IPO, the shares will be listed on ADX," he said.
The UAE markets have not seen an IPO in about two years as the global economic downturn dented investor appetite.

"The promoters are confident that there will be interest but if it is not fully subscribed, the founders have a right to fill the gap as per law," the banker said.

Eshraq's chairman Saleh Mohammed Bin Nasrah was quoted on the website of Arabic-language daily Al-Bayan newspaper on Wednesday as saying the firm had already won approval from the Securities and Commodities Authority to become a public shareholding company.

Bin Nasrah said the firm would offer 820 million shares to the public. He also said the company had been profitable in the past few years and paid dividends to its stockholders, without giving specific amounts.

Eshraq's biggest project is Marine Rise, a 21-high rise complex on Abu Dhabi's Reem Island. Bin Nasra said 80 per cent had been sold to secondary developers. 

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