Dubai Shares Drop Before Aabar’s Arabtec Stake Cut Confirmed

Dubai shares fell before the stock market said Aabar Investments PJSC reduced its stake in Arabtec Holding Co., confirming speculation that helped spur a four-day rout on the benchmark.

The DFM General Index retreated 0.6 percent to 4,665.24 in Dubai, bringing its decline in the last four days to 8.5 percent. Arabtec, the biggest publicly-traded construction company in the United Arab Emirates, fell 7.8 percent as some investors said Aabar was selling shares. The Dubai Financial Market said after trading closed that Aabar cut its holding to 18.85 percent from 21.57 percent.

“The beauty of this drop is that as Arabtec’s market cap. drops, so does its percentage weighting on the index,” Ahmed Shehada, head of advisory at National Bank of Abu Dhabi Securities LLC, said by e-mail. “The DFMGI is slowly detaching from the swings of Arabtec,” which adds much needed stability to one of the world’s best performing gauges, he said.

Property and construction companies have led an equities rally in Dubai, where the benchmark has more than doubled in value in the last 12 months amid an economic rebound. The gauge slipped this week after the U.A.E.’s central bank said that rental yields in Dubai and Abu Dhabi had fallen below historical averages as real estate prices rose, indicating the market may be imbalanced.

Arabtec fell to 4.50 dirhams, the lowest close since April 7. Abu Dhabi-controlled Aabar’s stake is now in a single holding, according to the statement posted on Dubai’s bourse. Previously it was held by Aabar’s energy, petroleum and real estate investment units, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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