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Dubai property developer Limitless to clear all debt by 2016.

Chairman at DubaiAAEs property developer Limitless, Ali Rashid Lootah, who also happens to double up in the same capacity at fellow former Dubai World

company, now government-owned master real estate developer, Nakheel, said in October, that although creditors were Aosqueezing us for everythingAo, he

expected that Limitless would fully discharge its recently restructured US$ 1.2 billion debt by 2016.

For the moment, Limitless remains a member of Dubai World, the conglomerate in which Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President

and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Ruler of Dubai holds the majority stake, however it is shortly to be transferred to the Dubai

government, where it will continue life as a wholly-owned nationalised entity, now that its debt restructure format is agreed. The firm was keen to

emphasise at the time, that it had settled its bill with 92 per cent of its trade creditors.

Lootah was fairly direct and mildly disparaging on the subject of creditors in his latest comments, following the finally agreed debt restructure at

Limitless, after a protracted negotiation, which has taken since the original March 2010 maturity date of its syndicated loan to conclude.

AoWeAAEre generating [revenue], weAAEre paying all of our interest on time Au you can check with the lenders Au theyAAEre squeezing us for everything,Ao he said. He

was less forthcoming on a hypothetical merger which has been rumoured between Nakheel and Limitless, adroitly blanking the inevitable question on

the subject from business media.

Aside from Limitless and Nakheel, most Dubai developers suffered badly as a result of a property crash which began in the second half of 2008 in the

wake of the global financial crisis, with local house prices plunging by up to 65, in some cases 70 per cent. The previously bubbling off-plan market in

the United Arab Emirates, collapsed virtually overnight, with many projects either facing long delays or cancellation. Investor enthusiasm has been further

dampened by a backlog of buyers who originally paid substantial sums in advance for properties, but have been left high and dry without either a new

home or any realistic chance of getting their money back.

Limitless has announced its intention to concentrate on existing cross-border and overseas projects, for example the Al Wasl project in Saudi ArabiaAAEs

capital Riyadh, as well as the US$ 3.5 billion Zagorodny Kvartal development in Moscow which broke ground in 2011 and the more modest US$450

million Halong Star in Vietnam.

In typically blunt fashion, Lootah said in his project progress report.

AoFor Moscow and Vietnam weAAEre already raising finance for the initial stage and for the next stages, if we need more finance, we will arrange it.Ao AoThe most

important thing is that we kick-start the projects,Ao he concluded, in a remark, no doubt equally aimed at both press and the Limitless operations team. Any

reference to completion dates was notable by its absence.

Copyright Andy McTiernan. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Andy McTiernan Property & Economy Bulletin
Date:Oct 21, 2012
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