AFI Paying Dividend Despite Loss

AFI Development, a Russia-focused real estate developer, said Wednesday that it would pay shareholders a $200 million interim dividend despite posting a third-quarter loss as it scaled back its capital investment program.

AFI, which is controlled by billionaire diamond dealer Lev Leviev, said net profit for the first nine months fell 67 percent to $28 million from last year because of a $69.3 million loss in the third quarter.

The dividend payout, equal to 38 cents per Global Depositary Receipt, will be paid out of cash reserves, and the date of record is Nov. 28.

"In light of our reduced development commitments over the next 15 months, we have decided to pay out an interim dividend to shareholders totaling $200 million," chief executive Alexander Khaldey said in a statement.

AFI Development said it would spend $434.6 million in capital expenditures in the next 18 months, down from the $1.5 billion it had planned to invest in its portfolio as it has refocused its development strategy.

The company will now concentrate on three core Moscow-based projects under construction, which it said were fully funded through existing equity and debt, while its actions on other projects would depend on availability of financing and demand.

The developer is 71 percent owned by Leviev's Tel Aviv-listed conglomerate Africa Israel Investments.