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Aldar - $1.3bn Islamic bonds

Aldar Properties, the third-largest real estate developer in the UAE by market value, said it planned to sell at least $1.3 billion of convertible Islamic bonds.

The bonds, which will give holders the right to convert them to shares in the company, will mature in 2011, Aldar said on Wednesday in a statement on the Web site of the UAE stock market regulator, the Emirates Securities & Commodities Authority.

Aldar may increase the sale to $1.5 billion, it said, without explaining why. The bonds will be issued by a special purpose vehicle based in Jersey. Later the trust certificates or bonds will be converted into shares of Aldar, said an official from National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), which is arranging the bond sale.

Other arrangers are Barclays and Credit Suisse, Aldar said.

The bonds will be listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Market after the sale closes next month, a person familiar with the planned sale told Reuters last week.

British law firm Clifford Chance is one of the legal advisers on the sale.

Aldar said last month it would start building a $40 billion island off the coast of Abu Dhabi.

Islamic bonds, called sukuk, are typically backed by physical assets that pay a dividend or rent to bondholders rather than interest, which Islam equates with usury. -(Reuters)

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