Etisalat shareholders approve dividend distribution of 80 fils per share

The UAE telco will also remove restrictions on foreign owners' voting rights

Shoppers walk in front of Etisalat Telecommunication in Dubai Mall, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, December 20, 2018. Picture taken December 20, 2018. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Etisalat’s shareholders approved the distribution of dividends and removing restrictions on foreign owners' voting rights at the annual general assembly held on Wednesday.

UAE’s biggest telecom operator will pay 80 fils per share as dividend as recommended by its board, it said in a statement.

"Etisalat Group continued to achieve strong financial performance and maintained its high credit rating reflecting its efforts to provide value to shareholders, which was the drive behind proposing a final dividend of Dh0.4 per share, bringing the total dividends for the year to Dh0.80, in line with our policy in previous years," said Eissa Al Suwaidi, the Etisalat chairman in the statement.

Etisalat, which competes with Dubai-based du, reported a 2.4 per cent increase in 2018 full year net profit to Dh8.6 billion. This increase is mainly attributed to the growth in revenues of international operations and strong performance of fixed and other segments in the UAE.

The company will be ready to provide 5G service to all of its customers in 2019 and plans to build 300 5G towers in the first half of 2019 while setting up 600 5G sites over the year, it said last month. It will provide the infrastructure and network to support all 5G devices launched by global mobile device manufacturers such as Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung.

The new 5G sites - which will house Etisalat’s network infrastructure and hardware - will be located at strategic locations to cover different parts of the Emirates.