National Corporation for Tourism & Hotels joins UAE rush to refinance old debt

The hotel company is the latest in a series of UAE corporates – including NMC Healthcare, Tabreed, Taqa and Aldar – to take advantage of low interest rates and a greater lending appetite among banks to refinance old debt.

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National Corporation for Tourism & Hotels, the owner of the InterContinental Abu Dhabi, has become the latest UAE corporate to seek to refinance its loan portfolio.

The Abu Dhabi-based company, which also manages the Danat Hotels & Resorts group, said yesterday it was in discussions with lenders to refinance about Dh880 million of loans to manage "liquidity and meet other investment requirements".

The loans under consideration consist of a Dh600m facility – Dh468m earmarked for “future investment opportunities” and Dh132m for the repayment of existing loans – and a Dh280m facility aimed at “a specific investment opportunity” in the early stages of discussions.

It is the latest in a series of UAE corporates – including NMC Healthcare, Tabreed, Taqa and Aldar – to take advantage of low interest rates and a greater lending appetite among banks to refinance old debt.

The company also said yesterday that it had signed some Dh325.5m worth of loans with Abu Dhabi Commerical Bank in 2013 and 2014, for the funding of a five-star waterfront project on Saadiyat Island in conjunction with the Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), and the renovation of the InterContinental and a series of other hotels.

NCTH reported a 28.7 per cent rise in 2014 profit to Dh158.7m, thanks to a 9 per cent increase in revenues over the same period.

However, the increase in profitability was attributable to the performance of retail and catering services segments; its hotels segment reported a 7.4 per cent fall in gross profits during the year.

NCTH shares, listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, ended yesterday 3.74 per cent lower at Dh6.69 a share.

jeverington@thenational.ae

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