Ajman Bank Advances on Stake Purchase Speculation: Dubai Mover

Ajman Bank PJSC (AJMANBAN) jumped to the highest level in more than three years on bets an institutional investor may purchase a stake in the United Arab Emirates-based Islamic bank.

The shares soared 6.2 percent to 1.20 dirhams at the close in Dubai, the highest since October 2009, and bringing a rally so far this quarter to 47 percent. The stock was the second-most traded and the biggest gainer on Dubai’s DFM General Index (DFMGI), which slipped 0.5 percent. The company said Nov. 11 it does not wish to enter any strategic partnership.

“Some investors are not buying the denial that a strategic partner is interested in the bank as the volume on the stock is unusual,” said Nabil Farhat, a partner at Abu Dhabi-based Al Fajer Securities. “The financial performance of the bank during this year was strong”

Trading volumes on Ajman Bank soared this quarter, rising above 30 million shares in November, compared with a 12-month daily average of 1.6 million shares. About 23 million shares were traded today. The bank is 25 percent owned by Ajman, one of seven emirates, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi, that make up the U.A.E., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Calls made to the offices of Ajman Bank’s acting Chief Executive Officer Mohammed Amiri and Chief Operating Officer Ashraf Shokry weren’t answered.

Arabtec Holding Co. (ARTC) surged 85 percent in the first quarter before Abu Dhabi government-controlled Aabar Investments PJSC raised its stake in the Dubai-based builder to 21.6 percent.

Shares of Ajman Bank, which comprises 1.9 percent of the DFM General Index, have gained 50 percent in 2012, compared with 16 percent for the gauge. The lender’s third-quarter profit more than quadrupled to 13.5 million dirhams ($3.68 million).

The company has a market capitalization of 1.2 billion dirhams compared with 800 million dirhams at the end of last year. Ajman Bank’s 14-day relative strength index surged to 72 today. A reading above 70 indicates to some analysts that a security is poised to decline.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zahra Hankir in Dubai at zhankir@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alaa Shahine at asalha@bloomberg.net

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