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DIFC investments has not yet sold SmartStream

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DIFC Investments, the investment arm of the company running Dubai's financial free zones, has not sold software company SmartStream Technologies but the process is under way, the chief executive of the Investment Corporation of Dubai said on Friday.

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May 20, 2012 9:41 by



DIFC Investments, the investment arm of the company running Dubai’s financial free zones, has not sold software company SmartStream Technologies but the process is under way, the chief executive of the Investment Corporation of Dubai said on Friday.

“No deal has been made yet. It is in the middle of the process,” Mohammed al-Shaibani told Reuters on Friday on the sidelines of a business forum.

“I think that more than one entity is looking at it, among them are some of the Dubai government-related companies. They are showing a keen interest in this process,” he said.

JP Morgan had said in a research note earlier this month that, based on a footnote in its 2011 financial statement, DIFCI has likely sold SmartStream to Dubai or the ICD, resulting in a $68.8 million impairment provision.

SmartStream helps investment banks and fund managers with the back and middle-office processing of stock, bond and derivative trades. It has said its clients include three quarters of the world’s top 100 banks.

DIFCI bought the firm in 2007 from private equity firm TA Associates, months after poor market conditions forced TA to scrap plans to list the company. That deal valued SmartStream at about 200 million pounds ($316 million).

SmartStream parent company D-Clear, which is listed in the 2011 financial statement as being 100 percent owned by DIFCI, was most likely disposed of during the early months of 2012, JP Morgan analysts said.

DIFCI also sold an IT distribution firm last year, Despec International, for $27 million, and will be paid in three installments to 2013, it said last week.

The investment firm swung to a profit in 2011 and said it was confident of successfully refinancing an upcoming Islamic bond maturity. Its sukuk has been highlighted by analysts as one of the most challenging refinancings in the Gulf Arab region this year, given the size of the maturity and the firm’s limited cash position.

($1 = 0.6326 pound)

(Reporting By Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Dan Lalor)



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