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MENAFN - Jordan Times - 14/04/2010

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(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Leading local and international investors said on Tuesday they were hopeful a JD157 million deal between two local investment firms and a global investor would blow life into the construction sector.

Yesterday, the Kingdom's largest real estate developer, Taameer Jordan Holdings, and the United Arab Investors Company (UAIC) singed an agreement with Global Emerging Markets Limited (GEM), an international investment fund headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, under which GEM has agreed to fund the two partners' projects in Jordan.

Taameer has been struggling to survive a financial crisis and has faced difficulties in securing loans from local banks to complete its real estate projects in the country.

"We have gone through a serious crisis in the past few years, but our faith in Jordan has helped us overcome the crisis," CEO and Chairman of Taameer Jordan Holdings Khaled Dahleh told reporters during a press conference held yesterday to officially announce the agreement.

According to UAIC's CEO Haitham Dahleh, the deal stipulates the establishment of equity-based funding that allows UAIC and Taameer to receive investment capital from GEM in exchange for tradable stocks in the respective companies.

Meanwhile, the Jordan Securities Commission (JSC), the regulator, requested more information about the deal in a letter sent to both local companies, which was made available to The Jordan Times.

The JSC asked the two companies to provide more information about the deal to investors in the stock market before the beginning of Wednesday's trading session.

According to Dahleh, UAIC and Taameer respectively possess sole discretion to determine the timing and amounts of the investment capital involved, based upon market conditions and funding needs.

"As a result of this deal, Taameer will be able to complete its projects in the next seven months," he added, noting that owners of housing units in the company's real estate development projects will receive their units during 2010.

An investor who is familiar with the details of the deal told The Jordan Times that "this is similar to a credit line for both companies to use when they feel appropriate".

UAIC was established in 1994 as a public shareholding company handling a diversified investment portfolio with a paid-up capital of JD147.5 million and assets valued at JD350 million.

Taameer is constructing major real estate projects, including Ahl Al Azm City in south Amman, which involves 16,000 apartments and villas, along with the luxury villas project, Al Andalucia, among others.

GEM's investments in UAIC and Taameer followed its 2007 investment in Jordan Al Abyad Fertilisers and Chemicals Co. via its private equity funds VC Bank/GEM Mena Fund.

By Khalid Neimat

 






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