European Business Centre in Dubai, a property of Emirates REIT. (Photo: Google Maps)

Emirates REIT has defended a controversial decision to withhold dividends, and is now exploring options to increase liquidity and value for investors.

The move has come amid a prolonged slump in the unit price of Emirates REIT, which has fallen by 65% in the year-to-date.

Emirates REIT is the world’s largest Shari’ah-compliant REIT by market capitalisation.

It was listed on NASDAQ Dubai in April 2014, and holds a portfolio of 11 properties across Dubai including a mall, office properties, and education facilities.

The REIT’s recent troubles can arguably be traced to August 2015, when it entered into an agreement with Jebel Ali School.

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By Ridzwan Rahmat

Ridzwan has been analysing REITs and business trusts since 2008, and personally manages a portfolio comprising mainly of SGX-listed REITs. He founded REITsWeek in 2013.