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Dubai’s Amlak Finance Postpones Shareholder Meeting

Dubai’s Amlak Finance Postpones Shareholder Meeting

The meeting was called to inform shareholders of the details of a $2.7 billion restructuring plan.

The first shareholder meeting of Dubai mortgage lender Amlak Finance in more than six years was postponed on Sunday after too few shareholders attended for it be recognised as valid.

The meeting, the first since mid-2008, was called so that the board of directors could inform shareholders of the details of a $2.7 billion restructuring plan that had been agreed with creditors.

Amlak’s shares were suspended from trading in November 2008 as the firm struggled to cope with the impact of a local real estate crash and the global financial crisis.

The company’s future has been in the balance since then. Solutions including a merger with fellow real estate lender Tamweel were proposed but ultimately failed.

However, as Dubai’s real estate sector and overall economy have improved, the emirate’s authorities have sought to revive Amlak and resume trading in its shares.

Under a restructuring plan agreed last month with 28 creditors, Amlak would make an initial payment of about Dhs2 billion ($545 million), with the rest to be paid over a 12-year period.

Creditors would swap about Dhs1.4 billion of their original debt into a “convertible instrument” which is to be fully redeemed over the next few years as Amlak sells some real estate whose value has appreciated.

Shareholder approval to issue such an instrument, which would be sharia-compliant, convertible into the firm’s shares and worth up to Dhs2.1 billion, was on the meeting’s agenda.

For a quorum to have been reached, 75 per cent of shareholders needed to attend the meeting. However, despite representation from Emaar Properties, Amlak’s largest shareholder with 45 per cent of the firm, this was not achieved.

A new meeting has been set for Sept. 28. For this meeting to be valid, 50 per cent of shareholders must be present.

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