AMR wants to keep control over bankruptcy through March 11

Updated 02 December 2012
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AMR wants to keep control over bankruptcy through March 11

NEW YORK: American Airlines' bankrupt parent has asked a judge to extend by six weeks, through March 11, the period in which it has the exclusive right to propose a plan to exit bankruptcy.
The request, made jointly with its creditors' committee, was filed on Friday in US Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. The current exclusive window is set to end on Jan. 28.
AMR Corp. filed for bankruptcy a year ago in hopes of reducing labor costs and returning to profitability.
Its smaller competitor, US Airways Group Inc., is making a push to acquire it out of bankruptcy. AMR said earlier this year it would prefer to exit as a standalone company, but is discussing merger options, including with US Airways.
Friday's filing is a sign that discussions with creditors on how to bring AMR out of bankruptcy are progressing cooperatively, if a bit slower than initially expected.
"American and the (creditors' committee) believe that the proposed extensions will facilitate the expedition of the chapter 11 cases and benefit all parties in interest," the filing said.
Sean Collins, a spokesman for American, said in a statement that the company "has made significant progress in its restructuring."
"The work, while progressing well, takes time," he said.
The exclusivity period bars creditors and other parties from proposing their own plans for how AMR should exit bankruptcy.
That effectively blocks US Airways from making a hostile bid, as any merger plan unveiled during exclusivity would have to be proposed by AMR itself.
AMR's pilots union, in the midst of bitter contract talks with the company, supports a US Airways merger and called Friday's extension request a sign that "things are proceeding in a positive way."
"We assume that the strategic alternative talks, which include US Airways, are functional," union spokesman Dennis Tajer said.
A hearing on the extension request is set for Dec. 19.
The case is In re AMR Corp et al, US Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 11-15463.


Dubai property developers put bond plans on hold

Updated 21 January 2019
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Dubai property developers put bond plans on hold

  • Dubai property prices have fallen since a mid-2014 peak, hurt by a period of weak oil prices and muted sales
  • Residential prices fell 6 to 10 percent in 2018 and are expected to drop 5 to 10 percent more this year

DUBAI: Dubai’s Emaar Properties and state-owned developer Nakheel have put on hold plans to issue US dollar-denominated bonds, Emaar and sources familiar with the bond issues said, amid a real estate downturn and volatility in emerging markets.
Emaar told Reuters that it had put on hold a planned bond issue, blaming rising interest rates but did not elaborate. Nakheel declined to comment.
Three financial sources said the firms had planned dollar-denominated sukuk, or Islamic bonds, and would have had to pay a yield premium to attract enough investors due to concerns about Dubai’s property price slide and emerging market volatility.
Dubai property prices have fallen since a mid-2014 peak, hurt by a period of weak oil prices and muted sales, although the slide has not come close to the more than 50 percent plunge seen in 2009-2010, which pushed Dubai close to a debt default.
Residential prices fell 6 to 10 percent in 2018 and are expected to drop 5 to 10 percent more this year, according to Savills. The drop has hurt developer earnings.
Emaar, developer of Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, reported a 29 percent fall in the third quarter last year, while Dubai’s second-largest listed developer DAMAC reported a 68 percent drop.
The financial sources said Emaar and Nakheel hired banks a few months ago to issue Islamic bonds but shelved the plans.
An Emaar spokesperson said its decision to put its plan on hold was not linked to the property market performance.
“The bond was considered more than a year ago and was put on hold due to increasing interest rates. The decision was not based on market conditions,” the spokesperson said.
Dubai government owns a minority stake in Emaar.
Nakheel, developer of palm shaped islands off Dubai, was one of the worst hit by Dubai’s 2009-2010 real estate crash, forcing it into a massive debt restructuring. It has not issued public debt since it nearly defaulted in 2009.
The market downturn has put pressure on property companies’ existing bonds, which investors use as a parameter to establish the price of new debt sales from borrowers in the same sector.
In secondary debt markets, yields of bonds issued by Dubai developers have risen significantly over the past few months, underperforming corporate debt from other sectors.
DAMAC’s $500 million sukuk due in 2022 and $400 million Islamic paper due in 2023 saw their yields spike by over 200 bps and 150 bps, respectively, since early November.
BofA Merrill Lynch last week forecasted weaker booked sales and gross margin for DAMAC, saying it was likely to be pressured by the property market and upcoming debt and land payments.
DAMAC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Yields on a $600 million sukuk issued by private developer Meraas, due in 2022, have jumped by around 120 basis points in the same period. Meraas declined to comment on the move.