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UAE top property firms agree merger


13:24, January 22, 2013

ABU DHABI, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- Abu-Dhabi two biggest property firms Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate have agreed to go ahead with a planned merger that could help to stabilize the emirate's struggling real estate sector.

The pair companies saw their shares running into opposite directions on Monday after their boards of directors agreed on merger.

After both firms announced to give green light for the proposed merger worth 50 billion Dirham (13.63 billion U.S. dollars), Abu Dhabi's largest developer Aldar saw its shares plummeting by 9.82 percent in late trading at the local market ADX, while Sorouh, the emirate's second developer, gained 4.29 percent.

Aldar said it intended to distribute new shares to Sorouh shareholders at a rate of 1.288 Aldar shares for every share in Sorouh, which will be desisted, once the Abu Dhabi government approves the merger.

The government holds 38 percent in Aldar, which developed iconic landmarks in the oil-rich state, like the Formula-1 parcours on Yas Island or the waterfront leisure and hospitality complex on Al Raha Beach near the United Arab Emirates capital.

Sorouh is well-known among international investors for the construction of Shams Abu Dhabi, a new residential district that harbor about 45,000 people.

The two developers entered into merger talks in March 2012 to form one of the largest real estate firms in the Middle East.

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