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Amlak to seek trading ban removal

amlakDubai’s Amlak Finance will hold a shareholder meeting on April 16 to seek their approval for lifting a six-and-a-half year trading suspension on the mortgage lender’s shares, according to a bourse filing on Wednesday.

If shareholders agree, the board will then seek permission from the “concerned authorities” to resume trade and determine a date to do so.

Trading in Amlak, 48 percent owned by Dubai’s biggest developer Emaar Properties, was halted in November 2008 as credit markets dried up and the emirate’s real estate prices began a 50 percent tumble from their peak.

Various officials have previously claimed that trading would soon resume – in March 2014, the United Arab Emirates’ economy minister said this would occur in the second half of that year.

But the plan now appears more concrete – an item to approve restarting trading is included on the agenda of next month’s Amlak’s annual shareholder meeting, which was published on Dubai’s bourse website on Wednesday.

In March, Amlak reported a 22 percent rise in attributable net annual profit for 2014 as gains from its debt restructuring offset write-downs in its property portfolio.

The company signed a $2.7 billion debt and financing restructuring deal with creditors last November after protracted negotiations.

Amlak’s meeting agenda also proposes paying additional fees to directors “for their special and additional efforts above their normal duties … to regularise the financial situation of the company”.

The shares last traded at 1.02 dirhams ($0.28) on Nov. 20, 2008, having fallen 79 percent in the preceding six months as Dubai’s housing crash and the global financial crisis sent related stocks tumbling.