DUBAI — Emaar Properties, developer of the Dubai Mall and the world’s tallest building, saw its stock drop 10 percent today, despite an announcement by the company that it would pay shareholders a dividend of $2.45 billion on Dec. 23.
This would be the largest cash distribution of a publicly traded company in the Middle East, though it was not enough to stop the largest share price fall since the real estate developer’s listing in October.
Emaar’s decline comes during a near free fall in the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) that is being called Dubai’s “Black Tuesday,” triggered by a new five-year low in oil prices last week, which sent shock waves across oil producing nations in the Gulf.
Dubai’s main stock index had its biggest one-day drop in six years as the decline in crude oil prices triggered a fresh wave of panic selling. Dubai’s index has declined 28 percent since the end of November and is poised for the worst month in more than six years.
Analysts say the fall puts Dubai’s status as the Gulf’s financial center at risk, as the DFM has moved from being one of the best performing markets in the world to one of the worst in a little over a month.
Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar remained upbeat, noting shareholders “have consistently stood by us in our growth journey, trusting our strategy to develop our competencies in shopping malls and retail, and hospitality and leisure apart from developing iconic projects and expanding to high-growth international markets. The largest dividend distribution this year by Emaar underlines our gratitude to them.
Currently, more than 60 percent of the company’s revenues come from its shopping malls, retail and hospitality and leisure subsidiaries, plus international operations.