Dubai fund revenue up 18pc to $24.8bn
Dubai, May 9, 2014
Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD)'s revenue rose 18 percent in the first half of 2013, the fund said in financial results made available before its debut bond offering.
The fund, which holds stakes in some of the emirate's top companies, had revenue of 91.2 billion dirhams ($24.8 billion) for the six months ending June 30, 2013, compared with 77.3 billion dirhams in the same period in 2012, according to a prospectus for the bond sale obtained by Reuters.
However, net profit dropped to 8.1 billion dirhams from 8.5 billion dirhams in the year-earlier period, which it blamed on administrative expenses and higher finance costs.
It was the first time financial results have been disclosed by ICD, which has holdings in some of the emirate's highest-profile brands, including Emirates airline, Emaar Properties and Emirates NBD.
They became available as ICD began meeting fixed-income investors on Thursday, before a potential dollar-denominated bond offering.
It is unclear whether the offering will be a bond or an Islamic bond - documents for both have been drawn up. Should ICD print a deal, it will be its maiden debt capital markets issue.
ICD's possible bond sale comes shortly after the Dubai sovereign completed a $750 million sukuk issue, which received orders from investors worth more than three times the amount sold.
USE OF FUNDS
ICD will use the funds it raises from the bond sale for general business purposes, according to the prospectus.
However, analysts have said the bond is coming just as Dubai is about to confront a significant amount of debt that needs to be repaid or refinanced. The International Monetary Fund estimates around $64 billion owed by Dubai and its state-linked firms comes due between 2014 and 2016.
The emirate is also preparing to spend about $8.4 billion on infrastructure and other projects before it hosts the World Expo trade convention in 2020.
"We believe the bond sale could partly reflect a Dubai Inc strategy to increase and upstream leverage at performing entities," Bank of America-Merrill Lynch said in a May 7 note.
This asset shuffling, which allow cash to be passed to debt-laden entities, has been a feature in recent months.
ICD also bought the Atlantis hotel, which sits at the head of the man-made palm-shaped island off the emirate's coast, from a unit of Dubai World for an undisclosed amount in December last year.
The unit, Istithmar World, also sold its Palm Utilities business to Empower, a district cooling firm owned by two Dubai state entities, for $500 million in January.
Dubai World is due to make the first payment, worth $4.4 billion, under its $25 billion restructuring plan next year. – Reuters