Dubai World to sell US, UK property and buy in Asia

SINGAPORE - Dubai World, the investment holding firm of the Dubai government, plans to sell some of its properties in London and New York next year and redeploy some of that capital to real estate in Asia.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Tue 4 Dec 2007, 3:12 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 9:34 PM

The group, which has about $20 billion in real estate assets around the world outside of Dubai, wants to rebalance its portfolio to better weather the global effects of the U.S. subprime crisis, a top executive told Reuters on Tuesday.

“Currently, we are slightly too heavily weighted in the States and in Europe. We want to balance the portfolio slightly more towards Asia,” Yu Lai Boon, the group’s chief investment officer, said on the sidelines of a briefing in Singapore.

Yu said Asia was “slightly more robust” in terms of withstanding a weakening in global property sentiment.

Dubai World, which has a multi-billion global portfolio that ranges from British port operator P&O to New York luxury retailer Barneys, owns office buildings such as 280 Park Avenue in New York and London’s One Trafalgar Square.

“Prices in New York and London haven’t fallen and there are still investors interested in the prime properties we own,” Yu said.

“I’m not proactively looking for a buyer but if someone comes knocking, I’d be more than willing to entertain them,” he added.

Dubai World has teamed up with Singapore developer City Developments CTDM.SI and Israeli property firm Elad Group to invest in a retail and hotel complex in downtown Singapore costing up to S$2.5 billion ($1.7 billion).

Yu said Dubai World was also in talks with Chinese officials for possible investments in China but declined to give more details.

Dubai World is merging its two subsidiaries Nakheel and Istithmar Real Estate into a single unit to spearhead its global property investment.

The group, which also has stakes in Thai developer Raimon Land and U.S. casino firm MGM Mirage, is set raise $300 million with its first listed property trust by June next year.

The real estate investment trust (REIT), to be based on Dubai World’s residential properties in the United Arab Emirates, will be listed in Dubai and have a secondary listing in either London or Singapore.

Dubai World is also looking to launch a 500-600 dirham ($136-163 million) infrastructure fund next year.

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