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Emaar Jumps Most in 4 Months as EFG-Hermes Says Buy: Dubai Mover

Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Emaar Properties PJSC, the developer of the world’s tallest skyscraper, jumped the most in more than four months after EFG-Hermes Holding SAE raised the stock to buy from neutral and boosted its price estimate by 68 percent.

The company with the heaviest weighting on Dubai’s benchmark surged 6.3 percent, the most since Sept. 10, to 8.24 dirhams at the close in the emirate. More than 36 million shares changed hands, almost twice the three-month average volume. The DFM General Index added 3.2 percent, making it the best performer among 94 global equity gauges tracked by Bloomberg.

The emirate’s index more than doubled last year as MSCI Inc. promoted the United Arab Emirates to emerging-market status. Dubai’s property companies are benefiting from an economic recovery and a rebound in construction as the Persian Gulf business hub prepares to host the World Expo in 2020, with about $8 billion in infrastructure spending planned.

“Our bullish stance is underpinned by the MSCI inclusion and exuberance around Expo 2020,” EFG-Hermes analysts Jan Pawel Hasman and Kareem Ghaly in Cairo wrote in a research note. “Emaar represents a pure exposure for many investors who want to play these two themes and the increase in liquidity is supporting asset price appreciation.”

EFG-Hermes raised Emaar’s 12-month price estimate to 10.1 dirhams from 6 dirhams, implying a gain of 23 percent from today’s close. The Cairo-based investment bank has the third-highest price projection for the stock after Arqaam Capital Ltd.’s 12 dirhams and Aljazira Capital Co.’s 10.85 dirhams, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Emaar, which this week appointed Abdulla Lahej as group chief executive officer replacing Low Ping, has been rolling out new projects in Dubai as demand climbs. The company plans to start the sale of Spanish-style villas next month.

Chairman Mohamed Alabbar said in November that the time is right for the developer to consider spinning off Emaar’s retail business to increase investor returns. EFG-Hermes said it values the retail arm at about 31 billion dirhams ($8.4 billion).

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarmad Khan in Dubai at skhan170@bloomberg.net

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

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