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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Dubai World to sell property in Britain, US and buy in Asia

SINGAPORE: Dubai World, the investment holding company of the Dubai government, plans to sell some of its properties in London and New York next year and re-deploy some of that capital to real estate in Asia.

The group, which has about US$20bil in real estate assets around the world outside of Dubai, wanted to rebalance its portfolio to better weather the global effects of the US subprime crisis, a top executive told Reuters.

“Currently, we are slightly too heavily weighted in the (United) States and in Europe. We want to balance the portfolio slightly more towards Asia,” Yu Lai Boon, the group's chief investment officer, said on the sidelines of a briefing in Singapore yesterday.

Yu said Asia was “slightly more robust” in terms of withstanding a weakening in global property sentiment.

Dubai World, which has a multi-billion global portfolio that ranges from British port operator P&O to New York luxury retailer Barneys, owns office buildings such as 280 Park Avenue in New York and London's One Trafalgar Square.

“Prices in New York and London haven't fallen and there are still investors interested in the prime properties we own,” Yu said. “I'm not proactively looking for a buyer but if someone comes knocking, I'd be more than willing to entertain them.”

Yu said Dubai World was in talks with Chinese officials for possible investments in China but declined to give more details.

By Reuters

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