Majid Al Futtaim sets up $2bn bond programme
Dubai, June 15, 2011
UAE-based Majid Al Futtaim Holding (MAF), the sole franchise of hypermarket chain Carrefour in the Gulf, has set up a $2 billion global bond programme, paving way for a potential debt issue.
Barclays, Standard Chartered and Emirates NBD were picked to arrange the programme, according to the prospectus published on the London Stock exchange on Wednesday.
MAF was planning to set up a medium term notes programme worth between $2 billion to $4 billion, sources told Reuters on Monday.
A likely bond sale from the company will be the first from a privately-owned firm in the UAE since the fall out of the financial crisis.
According to the prospectus, the group had outstanding borrowings of Dh10.5 billion ($2.86 billion) in 2010.
MAF's primary subsidiary is MAF Properties, which develops and manages shopping malls, hotels and master-planned communities across the Gulf.
The company said earlier that it plans to spend $3.5 billion up to 2015 on four new malls.
It plans 11 more Carrefour Hypermarkets in 2011, of which one opened in April in Saudi Arabia. Others will open in the UAE, Iran, Oman, Egypt, Iraq and Pakistan later this year, the prospectus said.
Borrowers in the UAE, which has largely been shielded from the regional political unrest, are seeing the current narrowing spreads as an attractive invitation to tap global liquidity amid strong investor demand.
Earlier this month, Dubai's flagship carrier Emirates issued $1 billion priced at the tighter end of guidance.-Reuters