UPDATE 2-Morgan Stanley advises Dubai's Emaar on plans to list retail arm

Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:37am EDT

DUBAI, March 18 (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley is advising Dubai's Emaar Properties on plans to list its shopping malls and retail business, the company said on Tuesday, a sale expected to raise 8 to 9 billion dirhams ($2.18-$2.45 billion).

The U.S. investment bank had been appointed to help with developing a strategy for the share listing, a spokesperson for Dubai's largest listed developer said. But the spokesperson said no banks had yet been chosen to manage the share sale.

A spokesman for Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

Emaar Properties chairman Mohamed Alabbar was quoted on Tuesday in Arabian Business magazine saying that the share sale will happen in Dubai and London.

"This will be a dual listing. We are a Dubai company so we have to be in Dubai, but we will list in London. I would like to do this quickly and am shooting for before Ramadan," Arabian Business magazine quoted Alabbar as saying.

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan will start towards the end of June this year.

In Dubai, the listing will be on Nasdaq Dubai, the smaller of the emirate's two stock exchanges, Alabbar also said in the magazine interview.

Asked to comment on the report, an Emaar spokesperson said: "Emaar is planning a proposed secondary listing of up to 25 percent of the shares of Emaar's malls business in the next one year, depending on market conditions.

"Emaar is considering the options of various listing venues including Dubai and London stock markets."

Emaar had first revealed its plans to list 25 percent of the shopping malls and retail subsidiary on Saturday.

Dubai-listed Emaar's flagship mall is the Dubai Mall, one of the largest in the world, which it says attracted more than 75 million visitors in 2013. The company also built the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world's tallest building.

The listing plan shows the extent of Dubai's recovery from its financial crisis in 2009. Emaar had talked about listing its shopping mall operations before the crisis, but put these plans on hold as the emirate's real estate and stock markets collapsed

In the interview, Alabbar also said Emaar was preparing for a public offer of its wholly owned Egyptian unit, Emaar Misr, and would consider listing other units such as its hotels business.

"Today I can't see other segments, but then someday we might say should Downtown be a separate listed company?" he was quoted as saying by Arabian Business, referring to one of Emaar's flagship developments in Dubai.

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