Issue No 300 - 24 Feb 2009
Abyaar Real Estate to borrow $137m

Kuwait's Abyaaar Real Estate Development Company said it was seeking to refinance 40 million Kuwaiti dinars ($136.5 million) in loans as it copes with a property downturn it expects will take until next year.

The Kuwait-based real estate firm plans to go ahead with a $1 billion real estate project in Egypt but would hold property investments in Saudi Arabia at 600 million riyals ($160 million) for now, Abyaar vice-president Marzouk Al Rashdan said.

According to an earlier plan, Abyaar planned to invest 9 billion riyals through to 2010 in property projects in the world's top oil exporter, according to our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News.

'This is going to be the toughest year for the real estate sector in the region,' Rashdan said earlier.

'We might see some recovery in the first quarter of 2010.'

Property prices across the Gulf region are facing downward pressure as a regional economic boom that was fuelled by high oil prices came to an end late last year.

Dubai's property sector has been hit most severely, with the average cost of residential real estate falling about 25 per cent from peaks last year, Morgan Stanley said this month.

Rashdan said Abyaar, whose shares have fallen more than 23 per cent this year on the Kuwait stock index, was 'cautious' with it profits last year and was considering taking an unspecified provision for last year to help it whether a property downturn.

Source: Trade Arabia News

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