Arabtec Drops to Lowest in 5 Weeks After Record Quarterly Loss

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Arabtec Holding Co. slumped to the lowest level in more than a month after the United Arab Emirates’ largest publicly traded construction company posted its biggest quarterly loss on record.

Arabtec, which helped build the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower in Dubai, dropped 3.5 percent to 2.46 dirhams, the lowest level since April 9. Dubai’s DFM General Index rose 0.3 percent.

The company reported a first-quarter loss of 279.8 million dirhams ($76 million) after a 137.9 million-dirham profit in the same period last year, as direct costs rose 28 percent to 1.93 billion dirhams, according to a statement on the Dubai bourse’s website today. Arabtec was at the heart of a selloff last year after Chief Executive Officer Hasan Ismaik resigned and a number of top managers were dismissed in June. Chairman Khadem Al Qubaisi and founder Riad Kamal were excluded from the board.

“It’s a reaction to the quarterly numbers, which are affected by mounting costs of projects,” Hisham Khairy, the Dubai-based head of institutional trade at Mena Corp. Financial Services LLC, said by e-mail. “There’s a lot of pressure on the construction sector at the moment and on Arabtec in particular with the top management changes.”

Real estate sales in Dubai, which recovered from one of world’s worst property slumps during the financial crisis, declined 31 percent in the first four months of 2015 from a year earlier, according to Dubai Land Department data.

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