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Top Abu Dhabi developers in advanced stage talks

Aldar took provisions for impairments and write-offs of 932 million dirhams, compared with 2.5 million a year ago.

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November 7, 2012 3:09 by



Abu Dhabi’s top two developers - Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate - said their government-backed talks were at an advanced stage.

The two companies also both reported higher quarterly profit on Wednesday, albeit with impairments and asset writedowns as valuations fell, highlighting glum conditions.

Their merger talks were started against the backdrop of continuing oversupply and declining house prices. Prices in Abu Dhabi were expected to fall 5 percent this year, a Reuters poll found.

“The due diligence is pretty much complete. It is only a matter of a little more patience before a final announcement,”Sorouh Real Estate chief financial officer Richard Amos said.

“These things take quite a lot of time,” he said. The two companies, which started talks in March, had previously said a decision on whether to merge would be reached by June.

Aldar - the larger company and which built the Yas Marina Formula One Circuit, home to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – said a valuation review ahead had prompted it to write down 737 million dirhams ($201 million), mainly related to hotel assets.

Aldar took provisions for impairments and write-offs of 932 million dirhams, compared with 2.5 million a year ago.

Sorouh took a fair value loss of 126.5 million dirhams on investments.

Abu Dhabi has spent over $10 billion on Aldar, equivalent to the amount it needed to rescue Dubai from a bond default in 2009. In return, land on Al Raha beach, the Ferrari World Theme Park, and other key assets, were sold to the government.



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