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Emaar Boss Will Not Take Write-Downs On Amlak Investment

Emaar Boss Will Not Take Write-Downs On Amlak Investment

Mohammed Alabbar was speaking at Emaar’s AGM where shareholders approved a 10 per cent cash dividend.

Emaar Properties, Dubai’s largest developer, will not “accept” a write-down of its investments in struggling property lender Amlak Finance, which is restructuring $1.9 billion in debt, Emaar’s chairman said on Tuesday.

Emaar, the builder of the world’s tallest tower, controls 45 per cent of sharia-compliant mortgage lender Amlak, which was hard hit by the emirate’s property crisis in 2009.

“Emaar will not accept any writedowns on its investment. We are still waiting for the government and the ministry of finance to decide on Amlak,” Emaar Chairman, Mohammed Alabbar, said on the sidelines of the developer’s annual general meeting in Dubai.

“I can assure you that Amlak’s financials are way better than they were two years ago,” Alabbar said, adding that Emaar has received 370 million dirhams ($100.74 million) from Amlak in the last two years.

Amlak has not traded since November 2008, when its shares were suspended along with rival Tamweel, as credit markets dried up and Dubai real estate prices began a slump which would see them fall more than 50 per cent from their peak.

Creditors of Amlak are considering a restructuring proposal from the indebted mortgage lender, the United Arab Emirates’ economy minister said in January.

Shareholders of Emaar Properties met at the annual general meeting and approved the board’s recommendation to distribute a 10 per cent cash dividend for 2012.

Before the meeting, Emaar shares rose 2.1 per cent on Tuesday, extending strong gains in recent days, partly on speculation by some investors that shareholder pressure might prompt management to raise the dividend, traders said.

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