Dubai: The real estate fund ENBD REIT is shelling out lower interim dividends for the April to September period, reserving cash for future property acquisitions. The latest dividend will be $4.85 million (or $0.0194 a share) and which is 4.9 per cent lower than what was paid in the six months up to March 31, 2020.
It was also done to "accommodate a cash reserve for navigating adverse market conditions", the fund manager said in a statement. (The latest dividend represents 80 per cent of the net rental income generated by assets in its portfolio.)
The proposed interim dividend is subject to a share capital reduction approved by shareholders at the last AGM (annual general meeting) in July and is pending approval from DIFC Courts.
Keep costs down
Anthony Taylor, Head of Real Estate at Emirates NBD Asset Management, said in a statement, "As we face significant pressure on valuations and rental income – resulting directly from the impact of the pandemic on the local business environment – we remain focused on managing down operating costs while at the same time upgrading our assets to enhance leasability."
Current occupancy remains "stable" at 76 per cent as of September 30 as compared to 82 per cent for March 31. "The lower blended occupancy rate reflects softer occupancy at the REIT’s residential assets – in particular Binghatti Terraces and Arabian Oryx House," the statement added. To an extent, this was offset partially offset by the office portfolio, including its assets at Dubai Healthcare City.