The price of shares in UAE construction firm Arabtec has plummeted by nearly 10 percent – the daily limit - in less than two hours since trading opened on Monday after news a senior executive and hundreds of employees had been fired from the company.
The share price had fallen 9.9 percent to AED3.46 ($0.94) at 11.45am, according to the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) website.
The fall brought down the entire Dubai market, down 2.7 percent, the largest decline in the Gulf on Monday morning, as investors look to book profits ahead of the Islamic month of Ramadan, when trading typically slows.
It was revealed on Sunday night that Arabtec’s head of mergers and acquisitions, Shohidul Ahad-Choudhury, had been sacked days after chief executive Hasan Ismaik resigned.
Ahad-Choudhury, a former Deutsche Bank executive, had joined Arabtec in March 2013 and also acted as financial advisor to Ismaik, according to Bloomberg.
Based in Abu Dhabi, he was responsible for implementing the company's new strategy, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and strategic financing activities.
The company’s share price has more than halved since May.
The fall was instigated when major shareholder Aabar Investments, an Abu Dhabi state fund, cut its stake in the company to 18.85 percent from 21.57 percent between June 8 and 11. The stake is now 18.94 percent, according to bourse data.
Ismaik, who abruptly resigned from the company last week, said on Thursday he had no plans to sell his 28.85 percent stake.