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Dubai’s Union Properties Climbs on Disposals, Expansion

Oct. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Union Properties PJSC, a Dubai-based developer, rose as much as 4.8 percent after an executive said the company divested two hotels and plans to expand a residential project.

The stock closed up 2.8 percent at 0.85 dirhams in Dubai. The company swapped its The Courtyard by Marriott hotel for debt owed to Emirates NBD PJSC and sold the Renaissance Dubai Hotel to a developer for 290 million dirhams ($79 million), Ahmed Al Marri, Union’s general manager, said in an interview yesterday at the Cityscape Global property conference in Dubai.

Union Properties posted three years of losses after the Dubai property market collapsed in 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company returned to profit last year after focusing on selling assets to pay creditors and restructuring debts to reduce costs. Other divestments included the Index Tower and Limestone House in the Dubai International Financial Centre.

The developer plans to expand its Green Community project, a joint venture with Dubai Investments PJSC, by adding 78 villas as well as 135 homes, apartments and townhouses, Al Marri said. The project will be funded with the company’s own resources and the Union Properties has no fundraising plans for this year.

The hotel disposals took place earlier this year, Al Marri said without being more specific. The Marriott was about 60 percent completed and the Renaissance was about 78 percent finished when they were handed over, he estimated.

Union Properties shares have doubled in the last six months, giving the company a market value of 2.85 billion dirhams. The shares peaked at more than 4.8 dirhams in July 2008.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ross Larsen in London at rlarsen2@bloomberg.net

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

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