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Emaar beats around the bush

Emaar beats around the bush

Emaar neither denies nor confirms rumors that it may cut 250 jobs and reduce salaries by up to 30 percent.

March 23, 2009 8:50 by

Dubai-based Emaar Properties issued a vague statement to Kipp neither denying nor confirming rumors that it plans to cut 250 jobs to help cope with the economic slowdown.

“With reference to recent media reports on its human resources restructuring, Emaar Properties clarifies that the company currently has over 2,500 employees in Dubai and a further 2,500 staff members in its various international joint ventures,” a company spokesperson said.

“Emaar is committed to enhancing our long-term profitability to add value to our stakeholders. To address the new challenges that we face, it is important to reorient our growth strategies and align our business model to tackle new realities.”

A report in London-based Meed magazine reported that the property developer plans to cut 250 jobs and slash salaries by up to 30 percent. In November 2008, Emaar laid off 200 employees.

Meanwhile, Emaar’s stocks rose by 1.5 percent to AED2.09 on Sunday, the highest since February 24, 2009, following speculation that the UAE Central Bank plans to cut interest rates.

“Investors are counting on the expected rate cut to help revive demand for stocks,” said Mohamed Dwaikat, a broker at Al Fajer Securities in Abu Dhabi said to Bloomberg. “The signals from the central bank suggest we may see the rate cut sooner rather than later.”

Last week, Standard & Poor’s downgraded Emaar’s rating to BBB+ from A-, with a negative outlook for the developer. “The global economic downturn continues to depress some of Dubai’s key economic sectors, including trade, tourism, and commerce,” S&P credit analyst Farouk Soussa said in one of three notes issued on Tuesday. “We expect that as a result of these factors, the economy may contract in 2009.”

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