Mazaya Qatar to list, sign $1.5 billion deals
Doha, October 11, 2010
Real estate development firm Mazaya Qatar plans to finally list on the Qatar bourse next week and would sign two deals worth $1.5 billion on Tuesday to underpin long-term confidence in the market, its chief executive officer said.
Seraj al Baker told Reuters that the shariah compliant developer will sign the property deals -- a $500 million build and transfer project and a second worth $1 billion -- with a major Qatari name. He declined to provide further details on Monday.
Mazaya Qatar, an affiliate of Kuwaiti developer Al Mazaya Holding, launched a $137.4 million initial public offering (IPO) in January, but shares of the firm have yet to be listed on the Gulf Arab state's bourse.
'I think this is an appropriate time (to list). You don't want to do it during the summer holidays and during Ramadan,' al Baker said in a telephone interview, adding the company would list on October 17.
He declined to comment on the exact reason for the delay in listing the company.
'We have been doing a lot of work, and I think that will be reflected in the share price,' he said. 'I hope our subscribers, who have been very patient, will be happy with the price.'
Mazaya Qatar was established in 2008 with a total capital of QR1 billion ($274.9 million), half of which is held by Qatari and Gulf Arab investors. The company initially planned to launch an IPO in 2008 but postponed it because of the global financial crisis.
Some projects in Qatar have stalled recently due to the property market slump. In August, Qatari developer Barwa Real Estate Co said it delayed its QR30 billion Al Khor project due to sluggish market conditions.
But Qatar has largely escaped the storm that pummeled neighbouring Dubai, with only minor injury due to state moves to control development of new offices, shops and homes.
Industry experts have said the Gulf state is learning lessons from Dubai's flawed speculative building model, which imploded during the global financial crisis and saw residential prices plunge some 60 per cent from their 2008 peak.
Al Baker said he was confident about the outlook for Qatar's property market.
'Real estate projects will go on. Government spending is the engine of the economy. That will continue to be the case, with a large influx of people coming in. You will need hotels, facilities, people to run them, restaurants.'
'Now, after the crisis, the dust is settling and there is a movement into quality. There is money here -- people will always go where the money is.' – Reuters