Tasweek reaffirms IPO plans for the first quarter

Abu Dhabi-based property investor Tasweek, which was supposed to go public by last month, has yet to decide whether to list in Abu Dhabi or Dubai.

Tasweek announced a $300 million mixed-use property development joint venture in Bintan, Indonesia which will include a 250-room hotel, six 20-floor condominium towers, 34 villas and a 15,000-square metre commercial area. Above, a fishing village in Bintan. Thomas Haupt / Westend61 / Corbis
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The Abu Dhabi-based property investor Tasweek expects to launch an initial public offering this quarter after having postponed the issue because of market volatility, its chief executive said yesterday.

The firm, which was supposed to go public by last month, has yet to decide whether to list in Abu Dhabi or Dubai. The IPO for 55 per cent of the company’s shares is expected to raise between Dh500 million and Dh700m, said Masood Al Awar.

“We postponed it because we saw how the market was going, but the plan will go ahead,” he said.

The investor also yesterday announced a US$300m mixed-use property development joint venture in Indonesia, which could eventually be listed in Hong Kong or Singapore.

The project on the island of Bintan, the company’s first in Indonesia, will include a 250-room hotel, six 20-floor condominium towers, 34 villas and a 15,000 square metre commercial area, the company said.

Tasweek expects to start the project in the second quarter of this year and finish construction in four to five years, Mr Al Awar said.

“We want to do this project because the returns are so high and simply because the fundamentals of the real estate component, hospitality and retail is very high,” he said.

“Bintan is close to Singapore and the government is putting a lot of infrastructure in place that attracts a lot of tourism. Its location is between a highly populated area within Asia itself and it is sufficient enough to get a return.”

The financing of the Indonesia project will come partly from private equity firms, off-plan sales and bank loans, he said.

In total, the firm is looking to invest $200m to $300m on projects this year as it expands its portfolio, which includes investment in Morocco, the UAE and Malaysia.

Tasweek is also considering a $50m hotel acquisition in Thailand, he added.

Mr Al Awar, a former executive with Dubai’s Emaar Properties and Abu Dhabi’s Sorouh Real Estate (now Aldar Sorouh), said he was bullish on the UAE property market despite the stabilisation of property prices last year.

The firm is working towards launching a Dh1 billion housing development in the UAE. It has yet to choose a location for the project. Tasweek is also eyeing investments in two hotel projects in the UAE and expects to finalise the deal for both this quarter.

It is also looking at commercial and residential property investments in the Western Region.

dsaadi@thenational.ae

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