Decision made following arguments between shareholders and execs - report
Emaar Properties, the UAE’s biggest developer by market value, said its board proposed a 10 fils cash dividend for last year, matching the payout a year earlier.
Emaar, developer of the world’s tallest tower in Dubai, paid a 10 fils dividend for 2010 after the company had not initially proposed a dividend. The decision was made after a three-hour meeting that saw arguments between shareholders and executives.
The company, owned 31 percent by Dubai’s government, did not distribute dividends in 2009 and 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“There were speculations about dividend as high as 15 fils,” said Dubai-based Fadi Al Said, who oversees US$250m as senior investment manager at ING Investment Management for the Middle East and North Africa. “Since the company maintained the dividend, it may be a positive sign that it’s comfortable with its financial position.”
Emaar said last month its fourth-quarter profit more than doubled to AED716m ($195m), beating analysts’ estimates. Recurring income from hotels and malls grew to 41 percent of revenue last year compared with 24 percent in 2010.
The shareholders are scheduled to meet on April 23 to discuss the dividend proposal, the company said in a statement to the Dubai Financial Market today. Emaar said yesterday that it may expand its board to 11 members from eight and replace four directors.
Emaar’s shares have gained 19 percent this year compared with a 23 percent advance for the benchmark Dubai Financial Market General Index. Fifteen analysts recommend investors buy Emaar shares, two have a hold and one a sell rating, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.