Mazaya Qatar preparing public issue

The Qatari affiliate of the Kuwaiti developer Al Mazaya hopes to raise as much as 500 million rials (Dh504m) in a public issue.

Mazaya Qatar Real Estate Development is preparing an initial public offering (IPO) for next month despite a weakened appetite among investors for property investments.

“Our advisers tell us that it should be well subscribed. Cash is king,” said Seraj al Baker, the general manager of the company.

“In October we started serious talks about at least four projects that we are working on at the moment in Qatar. We are in the process of closing an acquisition in Lebanon, but it is not our market target. Our raison d’être is to invest in Qatar and look at the neighbouring countries.”

Gulf property stocks have seen sharp declines from last year’s highs amid tumbling house prices and a squeeze on mortgage lending that has also hurt demand.

Under the terms of its licence, Al Mazaya’s Qatari affiliate had two years to launch an IPO. The period expires next month.

The firm had originally planned to go public in October last year, but property prices across the region started to tumble.

“That was when the whole financial difficulties took place and everything fell apart. So we decided to postpone the whole thing,” Mr al Baker said.

The IPO, which is to be followed by a listing on the Doha Securities Market, is meant to help Mazaya Qatar develop property projects and participate in development consortiums in the country. The company has not yet started any developments in Qatar but has bought property in Dubai.

“We do have a small exposure in Dubai. We bought four properties in Dubai: three in Dubailand and one in Waterfront for a total of 150m [rials]. The biggest exposure is in Waterfront.”

Nathalie Gillet

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