Abu Dhabi's Aldar sets aside capital for acquisitions locally and in Egypt

Reuters , Monday 15 Feb 2021

Aldar on Sunday reported 2020 net profit of 1.932 billion dirhams, beating analysts’ expectations

Aldar Properties, Abu Dhabi’s largest real estate developer, has allocated capital for acquisitions locally and in Egypt after disposing of more than 1 billion dirhams ($272.27 million) of assets around 2020-end, a company executive said.

Aldar on Sunday reported 2020 net profit of 1.932 billion dirhams, beating analysts’ expectations.

“I think the changes that we announced recently that brought separate business units under Aldar Development, including Egypt and ventures in particular, are reflecting a focused statement of intent on our side that Egypt is a particularly interesting market,” Chief Financial Officer Greg Fewer said on a media call on Monday.

It’s “early to point to a date or something like that, but clearly our intent is to focus our outward growth into Egypt on the development side of the business and deploy meaningful capital into the opportunities coming there.”

Aldar is monitoring the market for opportunities to issue debt and could do so at any time, very quickly, Fewer said.

Sources told Reuters last month that Aldar is planning an international bond sale soon.

“We’re monitoring the market for value and opportunity and that could be, really, at any kind of size. So it’s really about what the market offers you ... so it would be premature to comment on size,” Fewer said, but added that Aldar’s treasury department is ready to fund any potential acquisitions.

On the company’s partnership agreement with Dubai’s largest developer Emaar, the CFO said: “I think certainly since COVID came, both parties have been very focused on their own backyards and getting development under control.”

An existing 5 billion dirham scheme to build projects for the Abu Dhabi government “definitely” had an impact on revenue growth, Fewer said, adding that the company is about half-way through completing that portfolio.

A deal with state-backed ADQ to bring in 40 billion dirhams of future investments through Aldar was not reflected in the 2020 results, but will “drive a new wave of growth”, he added.

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

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