Arabtec Plunges as Bourse Glitch Amends Aabar Stake: Dubai Mover

Arabtec Holding Co. dropped the most allowed as the Dubai exchange website erroneously showed Aabar Investments PJSC cut its stake in the United Arab Emirates’ biggest publicly-traded construction company for a second time in a week.

The shares plunged 10 percent to close at 4.50 dirhams. Data on the Dubai Financial Market website showed Abu Dhabi’s state-controlled Aabar cut its stake in Arabtec to 14.32 percent today from 18.85 percent as of June 11. The website later updated the holding to 18.94 percent.

The exchange said in a notification posted on its website that a “temporary system glitch” caused the “misinformation pertaining to the 14.32 percent quoted in some media reports.” It reiterated that Aabar’s stake is currently 18.94 percent. Arabtec’s spokesman declined to comment when contacted by telephone.

Arabtec’s shares began dropping June 8 after the U.A.E. central bank said rental yields in Dubai and Abu Dhabi had fallen below historical averages as real-estate prices rose, indicating the market may be imbalanced. The bourse last week said Aabar consolidated its Arabtec stake under a single company, reducing the holding to 18.85 percent from 21.57 percent.

“Last Thursday, the stock was actually up 10 percent and we were a little bit surprised about when they could have sold off just over a five percent stake,” Nayal Khan, the head of institutional sales and trading at brokerage Naeem Holding in Dubai, said by phone today. “I don’t know how they update their data, but one would have thought that a 5.5 percent change in shareholding would raise a couple of flags.”

Arabtec is going ahead with “strategic expansion plans” and has held no talks to remove its shares from the Dubai exchange, it said last week. The stock has dropped 33 percent this month.

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