DIFC Investments posts $562m loss
Dubai, May 2, 2010
DIFC Investments, the parent company of Dubai's tax-free business hub, posted a $562 million loss in 2009 due to writedowns related to the group's investment portfolio and warned market conditions would remain volatile.
The group's chairman, in a letter published on the bourse website, blamed the loss on the "the prolonged economic downturn."
The firm posted a restated profit of $839 million in 2008 after a decision to apply IFRS accounting rules on its investments.
Dubai International Financial Centre, which hosts most of the foreign financial companies active in the Gulf, was set up by Dubai's government in 2002 in a bid to establish a financial centre that could rival with the likes of Singapore and Frankfurt.
The centre lost some of its lustre in the past six months as a result of Dubai's ongoing debt struggles.
The occupancy levels within the Gate District of the DIFC are still at around 90 percent, the company's chairman Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer said.
Still, Al Tayer warned that market conditions would remain tough. "We expect the market environment to remain volatile and challenging throughout 2010," he said.
DIFC Investments would focus on "prudent management" and consider divesting assets to cope with those adverse market circumstances, Al Tayer added. - Reuters