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DIFCI repays $1.25b sukuk
Issac John / 14 June 2012
DUBAI — DIFC Investments, or DIFCI, the investment arm of the Dubai International Financial Centre, announced on Wednesday that it repaid a $1.25 billion sukuk due this month.
“This transaction reaffirms our commitment to meet our obligations,” said Abdullah Mohammed Saleh, governor of the Dubai International Financial Center and chairman of DIFC Investments.
The prompt repayment of the bond, which matured on June 13, is a clear signal Dubai’s government related entities are firmly on track to meet all their financial commitments, analysts said.
In June’s first week, DIFC Investments signed a $1.04 billion five-year loan to help meet the repayment of the sukuk. The dual-tranche Islamic financing includes both a commodity murabaha and an ijarah part. Two thirds of the facility is in dirham and the remaining in dollars.
The five-year facility is priced at 380 basis points, or 3.8 percentage points, above the Emirates/London interbank offered rates and is backed by DIFCI’s prime property portfolio, according to a statement.
Emirates NBD, Standard Chartered, Dubai Islamic Bank and Noor Islamic Bank arranged the facility.
“The presence of regional and international banks in the transaction is an indication of the confidence and support that key stakeholders have in the success of the DIFC,” Saleh said in a statement last week.
DIFC Investments made a net profit of $130.5 million in 2011 compared to a net loss of $272 million in the previous year, after the impact of discontinued operations.
Profit from continuing operations totalled $185.4 million compared to a loss of $286 million in 2010. Rental income increased last year by 1.8 per cent over 2010 and total rental income generated from investment properties was $128 million.
DIFC Investments sold Despec International for $27 million, with payment to be received in three installments by December 31, 2013. The company received an amount of $15 million in 2011, in line with the installment plan, it said.
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