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Saudi's Dar al-Arkan to repay $990 mln debt this year

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia's biggest property developer, Dar al-Arkan, plans to repay about 3.7 billion riyals ($986.6 million) of debt this year, its chief financial officer said on Sunday.

"Beyond the 2.5 billion riyal cash in hand at 31 December 2011, we plan to mostly rely on expected sales of approximately 800 million riyals per quarter to finance sukuk repayment," Anand Raheja said in an emailed statement.

Dar al-Arkan has around 4.6 billion riyals of debt maturing this year, including the $1 billion sukuk, or Islamic bond, maturing in July, 200 million riyals which have been rolled over, and 700 million riyals which is expected to be refinanced through an asset-based facility, he said.

"We plan to raise a seven to eight year Islamic facility of about 700 million riyals against the Al Qasr Mall," Raheja said, referring to one of Dar's projects in the capital Riyadh.

"The net debt that we plan to repay this year is about 3.7 billion riyals," he said.

In 2010, the company raised $450 million riyals from a five-year sukuk just in time to refinance a $600 million sukuk maturing in March 2010.

The firm's future borrowing will evolve from a generic borrowing model to one that relies on its assets and borrowing to build specific projects, Raheja said.

In October, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) approved a 4 billion riyal facility to finance one of Dar's biggest projects, the Qasr Khozam development in Jeddah, estimated to cost 12 billion riyals.

Some 80 percent of Dar al-Arkan's assets of about 23 billion riyals are land plots in the kingdom where analysts say properties are hard to value.

Currently, Dar al-Arkan has about 35 million square metres (8,640 acres) of land, 85 percent of which are in the cities of Jeddah and Riyadh. The firm expects land sales over the next few quarters to generate 800 million riyals per quarter, Raheja said.

 
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