Dubai's Emaar shareholders approve 10 percent dividend

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Shareholders of Emaar Properties, Dubai's largest real estate developer, met on Tuesday and approved the board's recommendation to distribute a 10 percent cash dividend for 2012.

Before the meeting, Emaar shares rose 2.1 percent 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.

Emaar’s chairman meanwhile said it will not "accept" a write-down of its investments in struggling property lender Amlak Finance, which is restructuring $1.9 billion in debt.

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

"Emaar will not accept any write downs 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 Dh370 million ($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 percent 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.