Dubai Property Fund Pulls Debt Offer as Bondholders Revolt

Dubai-based Emirates REIT withdrew the restructuring proposal for its $400 million Islamic bond after a group of investors successfully opposed the deal, Bloomberg News reported. Emirates REIT said Monday that 57% of sukuk-holders who voted were in favor of its exchange offer. It said that 79% of its bondholders cast votes, without providing further details. The outcome fell short of the 75% the fund required to push through the proposal. As a result, it rescinded the plan but vowed to continue exploring options to improve the REIT’S sukuk and equity trading. The company also said that “there has been no event of default or any dissolution event” with its debt and that it will pay its upcoming sukuk profit distribution in June as scheduled. Citing a property slump compounded by the global pandemic, the Shariah-compliant fund had said it needed to improve its balance sheet, offering to exchange unsecured sukuk securities for new notes and asking to defer coupon payments for a year. Fitch Ratings has said the transaction would have been viewed as a “distressed debt exchange.” Read more.