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Emaar shares rise on plan to scrap limit on foreign ownership

Emaar has recorded the highest ever group property sales of AED26.9bn

Emaar Properties, the developer behind the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa, saw its shares soar in early trading on Thursday after its announced plans to consider removing a limit on foreign ownership.

The developer’s shares rose 4.7 percent to AED6.25 ($1.70), its highest level since early May.

The Dubai-listed company currently allows a maximum of 49 percent foreign ownership, but its board has recommended removing this provision at the next shareholders meeting on September 21.

Some of the foreign companies who own shares include JPMorgan Chase & Co, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and BlackRock Inc, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. 

“The decision falls in line with a broader repositioning of Dubai’s regulatory investment framework,” Faisal Durrani, partner and head of Middle East research at real estate consultancy firm Knight Frank, told AGBI.

“The direction of travel certainly appears to be one that is designed to make the emirate an even more attractive investment hub, but this time the focus appears to be at an institutional level.”

He added: “As a region, the Middle East has often lagged in terms of its appeal to global institutional investors for several reasons, but recent moves by the government appear to be designed to address the root causes of historic investor hesitation.

“With a flourishing real estate market, the move is likely to be well received and attract high levels of global interest.”