Arabtec Plunges Before Aabar Stake Cut Is Confirmed: Dubai Mover

Arabtec Holding Co. (ARTC) fell for a fourth day before Dubai’s bourse confirmed rumors that Aabar Investments PJSC cut its stake in the biggest publicly-traded construction company in the United Arab Emirates.

The shares tumbled 7.8 percent to 4.50 dirhams at the close in Dubai, bringing its four-day decline to 30 percent. Abu Dhabi-controlled Aabar cut its stake to 18.85 percent from 21.57 percent as of today, according to a statement from the stock market after trading closed.

“Aabar could be repositioning its portfolio,” said Taher Safieddine, an equity analyst at Shuaa Capital PSC. “I think Aabar is there for the long term because it makes sense for them to have a strong contractor to execute their projects.”

Aabar consolidated its Arabtec shares under a single holding, the statement said. Its stake had been held by its energy, petroleum and real estate investment units, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The shares’ decline began June 8 after the United Arab Emirates’ central bank said rental yields in Dubai and Abu Dhabi had fallen below historical averages as real estate prices rose, indicating the market may be imbalanced.

Chief Executive Officer Hasan Ismaik tripled his holding in Arabtec to 28.84 percent this year, data compiled by Bloomberg show. In a statement to the bourse before the market opened, Ismaik said rumors shouldn’t affect confidence in the company.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index (DFMGI) fell 0.6 percent to 4,665.24, its fourth day of declines.

To contact the reporters on this story: Sarmad Khan in Dubai at skhan170@bloomberg.net; Zainab Fattah in Dubai at zfattah@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Samuel Potter at spotter33@bloomberg.net James Doran

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