Yahoo agrees deal to buy Arabic portal Maktoob

LONDON - Yahoo is on the verge of acquiring Arabic online community Maktoob, as it looks to expand into emerging markets.

The internet giant has entered into a definitive agreement with the site, which attracts more than 16.5 million unique users.

Maktoob was founded in 2000 by Samih Toukan and Hussam Khoury as the world's first free Arabic/English web-based e-mail service and has since become the leading Arab online community in the region.

Separately, Yahoo has updated its Yahoo Mail, Messenger and Search results page.

The new Mail will allow users to personalise their calendar, notepad and third-party apps to provide a more streamlined inbox.

Yahoo Messenger 10 will allow users to communicate with friends around the world through new interactive and social features, such as a language selector, video calls and update tabs from other popular social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Yahoo is also testing a new search results page, aligned with the design of its new homepage, aimed at making web search more personally relevant.