* Sukuk prices at par with 6.4 pct profit rate - leads
* Orders worth $4.65 bln placed, showing confidence in Dubai
* Emaar shares up 2 pct (Recasts, adds pricing, analyst, updates shares)
By Rachna Uppal and Mala Pancholia
DUBAI, July 12 Emaar Properties saw strong demand for a $500 million seven-year Islamic bond, or sukuk, priced on Thursday, arranging banks said, in the latest sign that investor confidence in Dubai is returning as state-owned firms repay their debts.
Orders worth $4.65 billion were placed for the sukuk from 185 individual investors, according to statistics provided by the lead banks.
While problems remain at some state-linked enterprises, most notably at Dubai Group, a unit of Dubai Holding, Dubai has been successfully rebuilding its reputation among international investors since shocking global markets in November 2009 with a request to restructure $25 billion of debt at Dubai World.
"It appears now that the risk that was earlier associated with Dubai names are coming down and confidence is returning to the market after the state-owned companies repaid their obligations," said Sajeer Babu, a senior investment analyst at National Bank of Abu Dhabi.
"It is evident that Dubai companies are being opportunistic now since cost of funding has come down."
Emaar, the builder of the world's tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa, also benefited from tightening spreads and strong global demand for sukuk, which has seen a number of issuers complete sharia-compliant bond sales in recent months including a record-breaking deal from Qatar the previous day.
Yields on Emaar's existing $500 million sukuk, issued early in 2011 at 8.5 percent and maturing in 2016 have tightened since the borrower announced its intention to issue a new bond.
The outstanding sukuk was bid at 109.5 cents on the dollar on Thursday morning, to yield about 5.8 percent, tightening from about 6.1 percent on Tuesday, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Thursday's $500 million seven-year sukuk priced at par and carried a profit rate of 6.4 percent, a document from lead banks said. The profit rate was equivalent to 519.3 basis points over midswaps.
Investors in the Middle East and Europe received 48 percent and 38 percent respectively, with Asian accounts taking 13 percent and U.S. investors based offshore the remaining 1 percent, a separate document from leads said.
Asset managers and banks were allocated 47 percent and 40 percent of the sukuk respectively, with private banks picking up 7 percent and other investors 6 percent.
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Standard Chartered Plc , HSBC Holdings, Abu Dhabi's Al Hilal Bank, Qatar's Barwa Bank, Emirates NBD, Dubai Islamic Bank and Noor Islamic Bank were mandated on the deal.
Shares in Emaar, which is 32-percent owned by the Dubai government, closed 2 percent higher on Thursday ahead of the sukuk's pricing, taking year-to-date gains to 18.3 percent.
The main Dubai index has risen 9.4 percent in the same period. (Writing by David French; Editing by Dinesh Nair and Mark Potter)