Junk no problem for yield hunters as Damac tops sukuk in Dubai

For debt that’s off limits to many banks in the Gulf region, junk-rated Damac Properties Dubai Co’s securities aren’t doing badly at all. The company’s $650mn of bonds maturing April 2019 were the best-performing sukuk in Dubai during July, returning almost 70% more than their nearest rivals. Even after the gains, the yield at 6.45% remained the highest for any non-perpetual Islamic bonds in the emirate as of July 31. While most regional banks don’t hold junk-rated bonds in their books due to capital adequacy requirements, estimates that sales may quadruple this year are boosting the allure of the Dubai developer’s debt to investors seeking higher yields in anticipation of the first US interest-rate increase since 2006.