Emaar shares plunge despite promise of Dh9bn dividend

The Dh9bn shareholder payout will come as an early Christmas present to key shareholders, while the Dubai Financial Market continues to fall.

Shares in Emaar Properties tumbled by more than 8 per cent in trading on Sunday despite the company saying it would distribute a promised Dh9 billion cash dividend to shareholders on December 23.

Emaar shares fell 8.02 per cent to close at Dh6.65 in trading on Sunday as news of falling global oil prices continued to hit the Dubai Financial Market.

The Dh9bn shareholder payout will come as an early Christmas present to key shareholders, especially the Dubai government which owns a 29.2 per cent stake in Emaar, as oil prices continue to slump.

The payout from cash raised by the Dubai developer’s initial public offering of its retail business Emaar Malls Group was approved at the firm’s Ordinary General Meeting last month.

Analysts said that the market had absorbed the news of the payout while falling oil prices continued to drive down stock prices across GCC markets.

Emaar said the payment would take the total dividend distributed this year to Dh17.12bn, marking a record in dividends distributed by a public joint stock company in the region.

In April, Emaar declared a dividend of Dh8bn including a 15 per cent cash dividend, equivalent to about Dh975 million, and 10 per cent bonus shares, or 650 million shares, valued at about Dh7.12bn for last year.

“This year has been extremely significant for Emaar as we demonstrated our focus on building value for our shareholders,” said Mohamed Alabbar, the chairman of Emaar.

“They have consistently stood by us in our growth journey, trusting our strategy to develop our competencies in shopping malls and retail and hospitality and leisure apart from developing iconic projects and expanding to high-growth international markets.

“The largest dividend distribution this year by Emaar underlines our gratitude to them,” Mr Alabbar added.

lbarnard@thenational.ae

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Published: December 14, 2014 04:00 AM

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