Former CEO of Dubai's Arabtec trims stake

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Hasan Ismaik, former managing director and CEO of Arabtec Holding.

Hasan Ismaik, former managing director and CEO of Arabtec Holding.

Dubai construction company Arabtec's former boss has sold about $4 million worth of shares in the group this week, cutting his stake slightly, stock exchange data showed.

Arabtec's shares have swung around wildly this year on apparent tensions between chief executive Hasan Ismaik and Abu Dhabi state fund Aabar Investments, also a major Arabtec shareholder. Ismaik resigned abruptly in June.

Ismaik cut his stake to 28.77 percent from 28.85 percent, the website of the Dubai Financial Market showed. The new data was published on Thursday, implying the shares were sold on Wednesday.

The data showed 3.52 million shares were sold, worth AED14.6 million ($4.0 million) at Wednesday's closing stock price. Ismaik, who earlier this week declined to comment on his stake, remains the biggest shareholder in Arabtec.

Aabar Investments is the second biggest shareholder with 18.94 percent, according to the DFM. Ismaik's resignation fuelled a collapse in Arabtec's share price that dragged down the entire Dubai stock market.

Investors are now speculating that Aabar may buy part or all of Ismaik's stake. In a brief statement on Sunday, Aabar said it was studying different options but that any negotiations would be confidential.

Ismaik said in late June, after resigning, that he had received several offers for his stake from parties he declined to identify, but that he might only consider selling at AED6 or AED7 per share. The stock last traded at AED4.

Arabtec's board met on Thursday to review its second-quarter earnings and other issues, the company said; the earnings are expected to be announced on Sunday. Arabtec is one of Dubai's biggest companies by market capitalisation.

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