Emirates NBD Rises to Year-High on Dividend Bets: Dubai Mover

Emirates NBD PJSC rallied to the highest level in more than a year on bets the biggest United Arab Emirates lender by assets may announce a higher dividend once it reports fourth-quarter results this week.

The shares rallied 6.1 percent to 3.50 dirhams at the close in Dubai, the strongest level since October 2011. About 3.2 million shares were traded today, more than six times the three-month daily average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The stock was the biggest gainer on the benchmark DFM General Index, which increased 0.1 percent.

Emirates NBD’s fourth-quarter profit may more than double to 517 million dirhams ($141 million), according to the average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The lender, which paid a cash dividend of 20 fils per share last year, has a 12-month dividend yield of 5.7 percent. That compares with 3.1 percent for the Bloomberg GCC 200 Financial Index. The bank is due to report results Jan. 30, according to a statement to the Dubai bourse.

“Investors are shifting focus toward stocks that pay dividends and have attractive dividend yields,” Nabil Farhat, a partner at Abu Dhabi-based Al Fajer Securities, said by e-mail today.

Emirates NBD’s Dubai-based Islamic banking unit, Emirates Islamic Bank PJSC, is seeking to double net income in 2013 as it boost retail lending, its chief executive officer, Jamal Bin Ghalaita, said this month.

Two analysts recommend investors buy the shares of Emirates NBD, while five have a hold rating on the stock and one says to sell, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The stock fell 3.1 percent in 2012, lagging a gain of 20 percent for the Dubai benchmark index.

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