Emaar Rises Most in Three Weeks on Iraq Project Bid: Dubai Mover

Emaar Properties PJSC, the United Arab Emirates biggest publicly traded developer, surged the most in three weeks after bidding to build apartments in Iraq.

The shares rose 3 percent, the biggest gain since March 10, to close at 5.24 dirhams in Dubai, taking this year’s jump to 40 percent. Before today, the shares had lost 8.5 percent since March 10. The benchmark DFM General Index rose 1 percent, with Emaar leading gains by index points. About 12.2 million shares traded compared with this year’s daily average of 18.9 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Dubai-based Emaar is among companies that have bid for a project to build as many as 80,000 housing units in Baghdad, Salar Mohammed Ameen, vice chairman of the National Investment Commission, said in an interview yesterday. Emaar Chairman Mohamed Alabbar told Arabian Business this week that the company is considering building the world’s tallest tower in Asia, for which it has identified sites and completed preliminary drawings.

The rise is because of “a combination of consistently good news, the bid on the Iraqi project being the latest in a string, and Emaar having pulled back to levels which attracted bargain hunters,” Amer Khan, a Dubai-based fund manager at Shuaa Asset Management, said in an e-mail. “Emaar still trades below book value so there is definitely a lot of value in the name.”

Emaar trades at 0.98 times its book value compared with an average of 1.6 times for members of the Bloomberg GCC 200 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The company’s profit is forecast to rise 5 percent to 2.22 billion dirhams ($591 million) in 2013, according to the mean estimate of 12 analysts compiled by Bloomberg. Ten analysts have a buy recommendation on the stock, five have a neutral rating and one a sell, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.