Dubai Shares Drop to Two-Month Low as Gulf Navigation Tumbles

Dubai’s benchmark stock index dropped to the lowest level in two months amid speculation gains this quarter were overdone.

Emaar Properties PJSC, the developer of the world’s tallest skyscraper, declined 1.7 percent, trimming its quarterly surge to 37 percent. Gulf Navigation Holding, which specializes in shipping oil and gas, plunged the most since March last year after its loss widened. The stock was the most traded on the DFM General Index, which retreated 0.9 percent to 1,829.24, the lowest close since Jan. 28. Egypt’s measure fell for the first time in three days.

The drop pared the DFM’s gains this quarter to 13 percent, the biggest such increase in a year and the third-strongest performance among seven Persian Gulf benchmark indexes. Seventeen stocks declined today, four gained and 10 were unchanged. Drake & Scull International lost the most since March 5 after the board of the supplier of engineering services to the construction industry recommended not paying a dividend.

The market is undergoing a “correction,” said Nabil Farhat, partner at Abu Dhabi-based Al Fajer Securities. Gulf Navigation also declined after saying the shipping industry “will continue to suffer” this year, he said.

The company posted a 147.8 million dirham-loss ($40 million) in 2012 compared with 72.7 million dirhams a year earlier. EFG-Hermes Holding SAE forecast a loss of 23 million dirhams, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The shares tumbled 8.2 percent to 22.4 fils. About 28 million shares traded today, double the three-month daily average, the data show.

Emaar, which has the heaviest weighting on the index, fell to 5.12 dirhams. Drake & Scull slid 1.9 percent to 73 fils. There are 100 fils to the dirham.

Elsewhere in the region, Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index lost 0.5 percent. Oman’s measure slid 1 percent and Qatar’s QE Index fell 0.1 percent. Abu Dhabi’s measure rose 0.3 percent, while Kuwait’s index was little changed. Egypt’s EGX 30 Index lost 1.6 percent.

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