Arabtec may rebound after bourse corrects data

Dubai builder’s share price expected to recover after incorrect data showed Abu Dhabi state fund Aabar Investments had reduce its stake, when it had increased it

Shares in Dubai builder Arabtec may rebound on Monday after the bourse said data showing that a major shareholder had further cut its stake in the company was incorrect.

Arabtec dropped its daily limit of 10 percent on Sunday as the website of Dubai Financial Market showed Abu Dhabi state fund Aabar Investments had further reduced its stake in the firm to 14.32 percent from 18.85 percent.

After trading closed, however, the bourse said the figure was incorrect and had appeared on the website because of a technical glitch. It said Aabar had actually increased its Arabtec stake marginally to 18.94 percent.

Last week, Aabar sold about 2.7 percent of Arabtec shares, fuelling a 30 percent drop in the stock price as investors were concerned the company could lose the support of the deep-pocketed fund. The stock has dominated trading in Dubai, and the bourse index has moved in the same direction as Arabtec since the beginning of last week.

On Sunday, the index plunged 4.7 percent to 4,609 points, but it is now back near technical support at the May low of 4,544 points, from which it bounced last week.

Other Gulf markets also fell as investors reacted, with some delay, to the stunning military advance of insurgents in Iraq. This weakness could persist if more foreign investors, many of whom were not trading on Sunday because of the global weekend, sell on the basis of geopolitial tensions.

Only a handful of Gulf stocks are directly exposed to Iraq, though, including mobile communications operators Ooredoo and Zain Kuwait and energy firm Dana Gas , which said on Sunday that its operations in Iraqi Kurdistan were working normally.

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