Majid Al Futtaim dismissed Iran operations

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Majid Al Futtaim (MAF), the Dubai based business group, separated its Iran operations from its main portfolio in late 2012.

Ownership of the Iranian operations passied directly to MAF's family shareholders.

“We've been fully compliant in terms of sanctions. However, we felt there was always a risk, given our issuance and access to the bond market, there could be some investors who were nervous about having Iran in MAF Holding,“ said Malas.

MAF issued a $400 million sukuk, or Islamic bond, in February 2012, plus a $500 million conventional bond in July.

Iran provided about 4 percent of group revenue last year following the devaluation of the rial.

The United Arab Emirates accounted for about half of MAF's revenue in 2012 and the company is in talks to acquire a UAE fast food chain, Malas said, declining to give further details.

“We are speaking to someone already,“ he said.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain also each provided 5-9 percent of MAF's revenue last year, with the company's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) up 7 percent to 3 billion dirhams.

Revenue from its property division, which includes its malls and hotels, rose 15 percent of 3.2 billion dirhams in 2012, with EBITDA at 2 billion dirhams, the company said in a statement.

MAF's lower-margin retail arm had revenue of 17.8 billion dirhams in 2012, up 8 percent, and EBITDA of 937 million dirhams.

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