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Middle East

Sharia-Compliant Real Estate Lender Amlak Within Touching Distance of Debt Restructuring

Specialized Islamic real estate financier Amlak Finance PJSC has said it managed to agree credit restructuring terms with about 95% of its existing creditors, putting it within touching distance of finalising its second restructuring in five years.

Amlak's share price dropped more than 62% in three years, but has rebounded by nearly the same amount over the past three months

Jan 9, 2020 // 5:00AM

The lender, in which Emaar Properties PJSC owns a 45% stake, began the restructuring effort last summer. It had previously agreed to new terms on about USD2.7bn of loans in 2014. Faced with a persistently soft domestic real estate market, was forced to seek creditor approval to reschedule around UDS1.2bn in loans originally falling due between 2020 and 2026.

“I am delighted to report that Amlak has made remarkable progress in the debt restructuring negotiations with its creditors. Reaching the 95% approval rate was challenging and pushed us to create innovative solutions to satisfy the different type of creditors we are dealing with,” said Arif Abdulla Alharmi Albastaki, Managing Director and CEO of Amlak.

“As we work to complete the negotiations with the remaining creditors, I am confident that we will receive their approvals shortly and the resolution will be in the benefit of Amlak and all parties involved. We have already paid 42% of our Islamic deposits liabilities relating to financiers and 92% of our Islamic deposit liabilities relating to liquidity support providers.”

Albastaki said the lender expects to complete the debt restructuring in by the end of the first quarter.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD, and the Dubai Department of Finance are among the lender’s top creditors.

Meanwhile, official data may be showing signs of green shoots emerging in the UAE’s deepest property market, Dubai, where the number of transactions jumped 20% to hit an 11-year high of just under 42,000 in 2019, compared with 34,961 transactions in 2018. The data suggest some of the efforts being undertaken by the government to more effectively balance supply and demand, like the formation of a Higher Real Estate Committee in September last year, may be bearing fruit.

Middle East Islamic Finance Restructuring Bips & Pieces

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