The Dubai developer behind the world’s tallest building says it is merging with three rivals owned by the sheikdom’s ruler, a deal that will create a real estate giant with a low debt and greater flexibility in a market hard hit by the global recession. The proposed merger between Emaar Properties and Dubai Holding subsidiaries Dubai Properties LLC, Samar Dubai LLC and Tatweer LLC marks a push to shore up the property market in an Arab boomtown where an oversupply of units has driven prices down sharply over the past year. In a statement issued yesterday, Emaar said the new company would have a total asset base of 194 billion dirham (US$52.8 billion) and debt of 13.4 billion.
Economy uncertain: Tsang
Hong Kong, heading for its first full-year economic contraction since 1998, has “yet to emerge from the impact of the financial tsunami,” Chief Executive Donald Tsang (曾蔭權) said yesterday on Radio Television Hong Kong. “While recent statistics have shown some signs of economic stability returning, there are still many uncertainties in the global market,” he said, according to a statement released on the government’s Web site. The city’s GDP will probably shrink as much as 6.5 percent this year, after a 2.4 percent expansion last year, the government has forecast.
Iraq to award oil contracts
Iraq will this week unveil which foreign firms have won contracts to develop its oil and gas fields, nearly four decades after Saddam Hussein nationalized the country’s energy infrastructure. The deals, likely to be announced live on television today and tomorrow, will provide the government with much-needed revenue as it struggles to rebuild the country after three wars and 20 years of debilitating economic sanctions. Thirty-one companies have submitted bids to develop six giant oil fields and two gas fields.
Luxury brands enter India
India’s Tata Motors yesterday announced the entry of luxury British marques Jaguar and Land Rover into India, but insisted there were no plans to assemble them in the country for the time being. Six models — three each from Jaguar and Land Rover — will be sold from today in India, which is among the world’s fastest-growing global automobile markets. “This launch ushers in a new breed of vehicles in India, which had been disconnected with consumers here for some years,” Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata Group, told a news conference in Mumbai. Senior Jaguar and Land Rover executives were reluctant to divulge how many cars they expected to sell in India, where the luxury car market already includes Porsche, BMW, Mercedes and Audi.
GE to open Michigan center
General Electric Co (GE) said on Friday it will build a US$100 million manufacturing technology center in Michigan that will eventually employ about 1,200 workers. The Advanced Manufacturing and Software Technology Center will include a GE research and development facility. They will develop manufacturing technologies for GE’s renewable energy, aircraft engine, gas turbine and other products. The center, which is expected to open later this year in Van Buren Township, Michigan, also will develop software, networking and other services. GE has four other research facilities in Munich; Shanghai; Niskayuna, New York, and Bangalore, India.