Meydan raises $272 in Islamic finance

13 June 2016

Developer behind Meydan City in Dubai secured funds to strengthen its capital structure

Meydan Group, a Dubai based property developer, has raised a total of AED1bn ($272m) through a loan and sale of shariah-compliant bonds.

The developer behind Dubai’s Meydan Racecourse and several other entertainment and hospitality projects, secured AED700m by issuing Islamic bonds and AED300m from a term financing facility.

It will use the funds to strengthen its capital structure, diversify its investor base and support new projects, news agency Reuters cited the company as saying in a statement which did not disclose terms of the deals.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank coordinated and structured Meydan’s financing. Three other UAE banks - Al Hilal Bank, Sharjah Islamic Bank and Ajman Bank - were also involved.

This is the second round of financing for the developer in three months. Meydan in March raised a seven-year $476m loan from Qatari lenders to fund ongoing projects.

Its largest project is Meydan City, which is a 3.7 square kilometre development in Nad al-Sheba area. Meydan plans to build the 711-metre-tall Dubai One tower, the Meydan One Mall, a 1.2-kilometre ski slope, a 25,000-square-metre indoor sports arena, a civic plaza large enough to host 60,000 people, a four kilometre canal and a 100-berth marina. Other developers are also carrying out projects within the masterplaned development.

The company is the latest among GCC corporate and sovereign issuers who are lining up to tap debt capital markets ahead of a possible interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve.

Qatar-based telecoms operator Ooredoo this week signed a $1bn loan facility and said it is also meeting fixed-income investors for a potential bond issue. Emaar Properties, the biggest-listed property developer in the UAE is mulling the sale of bond in the second half of this year. Dubai’s Noor Bank has already successfully launched its $500m debut capital-boosting bond, the UAE’s Emirates Islamic bank has sold a $750m sukuk (Islamic bond), and Qatar’s Barwa Real Estate signed $1.13bn-worth of financing agreements with a local lender in May. Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has secured a $900m loan in recent weeks. Two Dubai financiers, including Emirates NBD, are also in talks with lenders to raise a total of $1.7bn in financing.

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