Issue No 305 - 13 April 2009
Saudi board reverses Emaar compensation ruling

Emaar Properties said on Saturday it would appeal a Saudi ruling reversing an earlier judgment in its favor in a lawsuit that had sought $1.2 billion in compensation.

'It is not clear yet how the whole arbitration process, which has taken over two years and ended with an award in favor of Emaar, was dismissed and its award reversed,' an Emaar spokesman said in a statement.

In September, a Saudi arbitration authority dismissed the case by Jadawel International in which the Saudi company had sought compensation of 4.5 billion riyals from UAE-based Emaar after a dispute over terms of joint-venture projects in the kingdom.

The new ruling, seen by Reuters at the Board of Grievances headquarters in Riyadh, ordered Emaar to give plaintiff Jadawel International 18.61 million Emaar shares adjusted for share splits and including dividends paid since the lawsuit was filed in 2003.

The stock last traded at 2.48 dirham on Thursday.

The board, which rules on commercial disputes, also ordered Emaar to pay $228 million in damages for realty projects and $12 million for litigation costs to Jadawel, owned by Saudi billionaire Mohamed bin Issa al-Jaber.

'The verdict that will be pronounced after the appeal is final ... The case should be closed this year,' a judge at the board told Reuters.

Asharq al-Awsat newspaper quoted Emaar's lawyer Mohamed al-Daba'an as saying that the new ruling came as a 'surprise'.

Emaar said it 'is considering all options available to ... protect its interests including pursuing the internal appeal process within the Board of Grievances'.

Source: Trade Arabia News

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