Arabtec Surges After Aabar Boosts Stake to 21%: Dubai Mover

Arabtec Holding Co. surged the most in three weeks after Abu Dhabi’s state-owned Aabar Investments PJSC boosted its stake in the Dubai builder through its units to more than 20 percent.

The shares of the biggest construction company by market value in the United Arab Emirates extended gains following a bourse disclosure, surging 4.7 percent, the most since April 24, to 2.91 dirhams at the close in Dubai today, giving the company a market value of 4.57 billion dirhams ($1.24 billion). The stock was the most traded by volume on Dubai’s benchmark DFM General Index, which fell 0.4 percent.

Aabar Petroleum Investment PJSC, a unit of Aabar Investments, boosted its holding to 5.23 percent, and Aabar Energy Co. increased its stake to 5.2 percent, according to data posted on the website of the Dubai Financial Market. That’s in addition to a 5.18 percent stake already held by Aabar Real Estate Co. and Aabar Petroleum Investments Co. 5.32 percent shareholding in Arabtec.

“The stock now represents a buying opportunity after” a recent slump and after the filing on the stock exchange clarified Aabar’s ownership levels, said Samer Darwiche, a Dubai-based analyst at Gulfmena Investments Ltd.

Arabtec has jumped 92 percent this year on speculation the builder will benefit from regional infrastructure spending. That compares with a 9.5 percent gain in Dubai’s DFM General Index. The builder earlier today denied a report in newspaper Alrroya yesterday that said Aabar and its units held a 53 percent stake, stating that it instead owned 20.76 percent as of May 10. The shares sank 5.8 percent yesterday on speculation Arabtec may de-list.

Aabar Investments in 2010 canceled a plan to buy most of Arabtec for an estimated $1.74 billion, saying they would work instead on a “strategic partnership,” after Dubai’s government support of Dubai World improved the builder’s prospects. Aabar had offered to buy 70 percent of Arabtec through the purchase of bonds that would be exchanged for shares at 2.3 dirhams.

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