Emaar Properties, the United Arab Emirates’ biggest developer by market value, agreed on an $800m Islamic loan with three banks that pays 3.5 percent more than the benchmark rate, two bankers familiar with the transaction said.
The developer of the world’s tallest tower will also pay fees for the facility, which is provided by Dubai Islamic Bank, Standard Chartered and National Bank of Abu Dhabi, the bankers said, declining to be identified because the information is private.
The deal is expected to be signed on Dec 4 and includes a five-year bullet loan as well as an 8-year amortizing facility, the bankers said.
The financing is backed by Emaar’s flagship Dubai Mall, they said.
The so-called profit rate of about 4 percent - the three- month London interbank offered rate was at 0.53 percent today - compares with a yield of 8.55 percent on Nov 30 on Emaar’s Islamic bond maturing August 2016, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Islamic loans pay a profit rate to comply with the religion’s ban on interest payments.
Emaar continuously explores various options for raising funds for its long-term development plans. including refinancing of debt, the company said in an emailed response to questions from Bloomberg News. Details will be disclosed at the appropriate time, it said.
A spokesman for National Bank of Abu Dhabi said the bank would not comment on client matters, while a spokesmen for Standard Chartered declined to comment. Nobody was available from Dubai Islamic Bank to comment today, a public holiday in the UAE.
Dubai’s property market went from being one of the world’s best performing to the worst following the global credit crisis three years ago, with home prices slumping 64 percent since the mid-2008 peak, according to Deutsche Bank estimates.
Emaar has been hurt by the downturn but avoided debt restructuring, unlike Nakheel, the builder of man-made islands off Dubai’s coast.
Emaar reported Oct 27 a 34 percent decline in third- quarter profit as revenue dropped and property deliveries slowed. The company plans to borrow $700m and build a commercial center in its Eighth Gate development in Damascus, chairman Mohamed Alabbar told Dubai TV on Oct 24.
Emaar in January sold $500m of Islamic bonds due August 2016. In September 2010, the developer issued $500m of five-year convertible notes to pay contractors and convert some of its $1.4bn of short-term loans into longer-term debt.