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Emaar’s Alabbar Says Resources Company May Look at Acquisitions for Growth

Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties PJSC, said his Africa-focused natural resources company may look at acquisitions to grow as it seeks to tap demand for commodities in emerging markets.

"Looking at the world today, this will be a major business, I see it between $10 billion to $20 billion," in the next 10 years, Alabbar said in an interview on Bloomberg TV’s "Eye to Eye’’ with Francine Lacqua. “Probably in a year we might be doing some acquisition, and that will be 20 to 30 percent of what we do.”

African Middle East Resources, the Johannesburg-based company, operates in Madagascar, Guinea, Niger, Angola and Gabon. It will focus on developing the basic resources business from the concession level, Alabbar said.

“Of course you are taking more risk, but I think you’re really at level one, which is a fabulous opportunity,” he said. “There is room for us and for others to come in not only to enhance the development of mining and resources but to enhance these countries’ economies and contribute as well.”

Dubai Property Prices

Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), the developer of the world’s tallest skyscraper in Dubai, aims to benefit from operations in developing economies, Alabbar said. “We are positioned nicely to take advantage of the coming years” and are looking at Africa and Asia for expansion, he said.

Dubai’s property prices have stabilized and are moving up in some areas, Alabbar said. “We have challenges with the real estate market which we’ll work through in the coming two to three years,” he said.

Dubai’s property market went from being one of the world’s best performing to the worst following the global credit crisis three years ago, with home prices slumping 64 percent since the mid-2008 peak, according to Deutsche Bank AG estimates.

Emaar said Oct. 27 third-quarter profit dropped 34 percent as revenue declined and property delivery slowed. The company is expanding abroad and focusing on assets that generate recurring income such as hotels and shopping centers.

The stock, down 27 percent the past year, retreated 1.5 percent to 2.66 dirhams on Nov. 10.

To contact the reporters on this story: Francine Lacqua in London at flacqua@bloomberg.net; Zahra Hankir in Dubai at zhankir@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

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