Shareholders of Dubai's Amlak Finance met for the first time in more than six years on Sunday and backed a key component of the mortgage provider's $2.7 billion debt restructuring deal.
Amlak's future has been in the balance for years. Its shares have not traded since November 2008 when they were suspended in the wake of the global financial crisis and a local real estate crash, and a number of attempts to revive the firm since then have failed.
However, negotiations with creditors led in August to a deal to restructure Amlak's obligations, which needed the sign-off of shareholders who had been left powerless since their last meeting in mid-2008.
"This is the best solution after working on it for so long," Ameed Kanan, an Amlak shareholder, told Reuters outside the meeting, held at a luxury hotel close to Dubai's financial centre.
The meeting was the second attempt to secure shareholder assent for a key part of the restructuring deal with creditors, after a gathering last Sunday was attended by too few shareholders to be recognised as valid.
Agreed was the issuance of a sharia-compliant instrument worth up to AED2.1 billion ($571.8 million) and convertible into company stock, a statement from the company said.
Also approved on Sunday was a provisional date of the first quarter of 2015 for a shareholder meeting to back the resumption of trading in Amlak shares, the statement said.
Still required for this to happen is the formal signing of the restructuring agreement with creditors and also agreement from the regulatory authorities in the United Arab Emirates.
"Amlak has taken a number of strategic measures over the last few years to focus on its core property financing operations...we continue to work hard with all our stakeholders in returning to market," Arif Alharmi, chief executive of Amlak, said in the statement.For all the latest banking and finance news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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