First Gulf Bank drags Abu Dhabi to 3-week low

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Shares in Abu Dhabi heavyweight First Gulf Bank tumble after the stock reaches its ex-dividend date, dragging the emirate's bourse to a three-week low.

FGB will pay 0.83 dirhams per share. Abu Dhabi banks are among the higher paying stocks in the country. Shares in FGB fall 6.8 percent, trimming 2013 gains to 5.1 percent. The stock rallied 51.6 percent in the previous year as strong earnings attracted investor interest.

Abu Dhabi's benchmark drops 1.9 percent to 2,945 points, slumping to its lowest level since Feb. 14.

Elsewhere, Dubai's measure slips 0.2 percent to 1,872 points, heading for its fourth straight loss.

Small-caps weigh, with Oman Insurance and National General Insurance each tumbling 10 percent.

Builder Arabtec sheds 1 percent. It has fallen 31.8 percent in six sessions since the company announced plans to raise 4.8 billion dirhams ($1.31 billion) capital through a rights issue and 1.7 billion dirhams via a convertible bond.

"If they want to relieve stress on the stock, they should increase the value of the convertible bond and decrease the value of the rights issues," says Anastasios Dalgiannakis, institutional trading manager at Mubasher. The convertible bond would bring in new investors, he adds.

Arabtec said 2012 net profit fell to 139.2 million dirhams from 221.1 million dirhams a year ago.

In Kuwait, the benchmark climbs 0.2 percent to 6,567 points, a fresh two-year high.

Elsewhere, Oman and Qatar's markets trade near-flat.


Market Performance

First Gulf Bank
0.25 1.76 (%)
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