By Abdul Basit

DUBAI – Emaar Properties, the developer of the world’s tallest building, plans to issue a benchmark dollar bond and pricing is expected to be announced on Thursday (today), according to sources.

Last week, the developer announced that the company had hired top three global banks to arrange fixed-income meetings ahead of a possible bond issue.

The UAE’s biggest developer by market value asked HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered to arrange meetings which started on January 21 and took place in Asia, the Gulf region and Europe, the company said in a statement on January 18.

The pricing of the five-and-a-half year Islamic bond or sukuk, is expected to be on Thursday, Reuters said while quoting a document from the source. Benchmark bonds are typically at least $500 million in size.

Emaar’s witnessed a modest decline as its share price closed at Dh3.41 and it was opened at Dh3.42 on Wednesday. Total share transactions reached 6.7 million shares for the day.

Emaar raised $500 million from five-year convertible bonds paying interest of 7.5 per cent in September, using the money to pay contractors and convert some of its $1.4 billion of short- term loans into longer-term debt.

Emaar’s sale of convertible bonds in September received more than $3 billion in bids and more than 250 orders from investors globally.

The company is focusing on recurring income from shopping-mall leases and hotel revenue rather than new projects after property prices in Dubai fell by more than half since 2008 and transactions dried up. The property market in the country suffered in the wake of the global financial crisis as developers overstretched themselves in the pursuit of ambitious projects.