ENBD REIT to maintain dividend payments

Emirates NBD Asset Management’s real estate investment trust (ENBD REIT) has stated that it has enough cashflow to maintain dividend payments to shareholders after announcing its strategic priorities for 2021. The UAE-based asset manager’s head of real estate Anthony Taylor, accepted that “no-one in any sector is in any doubt that 2020 is going to be a challenging year” adding that soft real estate market conditions have been exaggerated by the Covid-19 pandemic and a return to low and volatile oil prices. Taylor also said that any “gradual uptick in the real estate market is probably delayed”. However, he added that “we have the diversity and the resilience in our portfolio to maintain occupancy and rental income, with sufficient cashflow to maintain dividend payments to shareholders”. In outlining the fund’s priorities, Taylor said that the fund will continue to build on diversity in the portfolio and to explore low-interest rates via Sharia-compliant hedging arrangements to bring down costs. And in medium-term, the fund will reposition the portfolio to increase its weighting to alternative asset classes, which currently account for 19% of total value. The fund will not be delisting from Nasdaq Dubai. The possibility of taking the fund private had been proposed in December 2019, but shareholders voted down the proposal in March 2020. © 2020 funds global mena  

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