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Arabtec Jumps to Six-Week High on Stake Sale Bets: Dubai Mover

Shares of Arabtec Holding Co. climbed to the highest since July 16 as some investors speculated former Chief Executive Officer Hasan Ismaik is close to selling part of his stake in the builder.

The stock added 2.5 percent to close at 4.57 dirhams, taking gains in the past four days to 7.5 percent. Arabtec was the biggest advancer and the most traded on Dubai’s DFM General Index today, which erased losses to close 0.1 percent higher.

Khadem Al Qubaisi, chairman of the biggest publicly traded construction company in the United Arab Emirates and its second largest shareholder Aabar Investments PJSC, said July 2 the state-controlled investor may increase its Arabtec holding. Aabar is in talks to buy at least half of Ismaik’s 27.9 percent stake and is negotiating a price of 5 dirhams to 6 dirhams a share, a person with knowledge of the matter said July 15.

“There is speculation in the market for a few days that Ismaik could soon be selling a third of his stake at a price of 5 dirhams a share in a block trade,” Nayal Khan, head of institutional sales and trading at Naeem Holding brokerage in Dubai, said by telephone phone today. “It’s not clear who the buyer is, but it’s in Aabar’s interest to address Ismaik’s stake as soon as possible so it could focus more on Arabtec’s fundamental issues including liquidity constraints.”

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