Emaar’s Board Approves Phased Conversion of Bonds to Shares

Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR)’s board approved a plan to convert bonds into stock in stages, with the first batch leading to the creation of 18.7 million shares. The stock rose 2.3 percent.

The developer approved the issuance of new shares to note holders who requested it and will “approve all similar conversion requests that may be received by the company in the future,” Emaar said in a statement today.

Investors who bought Emaar’s convertible bonds in the midst of Dubai’s real estate crisis three years ago stand to generate returns of more than 70 percent upon conversion. Emaar, which built the world’s tallest tower, almost doubled in Dubai trading this year as the retail, tourism and housing markets rebounded.

“Local investors in particular will be relieved that there will not be a forced conversion for the whole lump,” said Julian Bruce, head of institutional trading at EFG-Hermes U.A.E. Ltd. in Dubai. “This sort of drip-feed supply should be easily absorbed by the consistent buying interest we have seen of late.”

The $500 million bond due in 2015 would be exchanged at a price of 4.38 dirhams. The conversion of all the bonds would lead to the creation of around 420 million shares, representing a 6 percent to 8 percent dilution of existing holders, Taher Safieddine, an equity analyst at Shuaa Capital PSC, estimated earlier this week.

Emaar closed at 7.25 dirhams in Dubai, bringing this year’s gain to 93 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zainab Fattah in Dubai at zfattah@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at ablackman@bloomberg.net

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