AMMAN: Jordan’s Taameer Holdings, the country’s biggest property firm, has secured a syndicated loan worth $32 million to complete delayed multi-million dollar real estate projects, the firm said on Sunday.
The two-year project finance loan was extended by a consortium led by Jordan-Kuwait Bank that includes Jordan National Bank, Jordan Commercial Bank, Arab Bank Housing Bankand Capital Bank.
The largest developer in Jordan by market value has been hit by the global economic downturn, which has sent prices in the kingdom’s once booming property sector down 25 percent from the peak in 2008.
Taameer, with around $500 million of assets, had been unable to tap new financing after an $85 million syndicated loan arranged by Lebanon’s Blom Bank fell through in August 2008 when most regional banks became risk averse.
The company had since been in talks for over a year with banks, private equity firms and other funds to secure a cash injection to ease a cash crunch that had delayed a $200 million Andalusia luxury gated compound and other projects affected by the downturn.
The firm has a portfolio that includes prime residential and industrial property in both the capital Amman, the city of Zarqa and the Red Sea resort city of Aqaba.
Khaled Dahleh, chairman and CEO of the company, recently told Reuters the listed firm hopes to capitalize on signs of a recovery in the depressed estate market with stronger economic growth prospects in Jordan this year.
Taameer, which has several construction material plants, also eyed growth in the Gulf region, especially the fast-growing Saudi Arabian housing market.
Taameer’s major shareholder is financial conglomerate United Arab Investors. Others include Saudi-based Savola Group with a 5.5 percent stake, Kuwait’s Global Investment House and other Arab Gulf investors.
Many Gulf Arab investors during a boom era of surplus cash invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the Jordanian property market, attracted by free market policies and relatively low prices compared with other regional markets.