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Tue 14 Dec 2010 10:56 AM

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Abu Dhabi shares fall to 2-month low as Aldar drops

Aldar Properties drops on speculation the developer won’t meet debt obligations

Abu Dhabi shares fall to 2-month low as Aldar drops
STOCK WATCH: Dubai Financial Market was among losers as Dubais index DFM extended losses (Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

Abu Dhabi shares retreated to the lowest level in two months before the US Federal Reserve’s last regular meeting of the year. Aldar Properties dropped on speculation the developer won’t meet debt obligations.

Aldar, Abu Dhabi’s biggest real-estate company, slipped 2.1 percent. Emirates Telecommunications Corp, the UAE’s biggest phone company, fell to the lowest in two months. The ADX General Index decreased 0.6 percent to 2,727.86, the lowest since Oct. 12, at the 2pm close in Abu Dhabi.

Dubai’s benchmark stock index retreated for a fifth day, also losing 0.6 percent. Abu Dhabi’s measure has gained 8.5 percent in the second half, while Dubai’s measure is up 12 percent.

“There’s going to be lot of economic news coming out of international markets this week, and that’s keeping buying momentum on hold,” said Amro Halwani, a trader at Shuaa Capital PSC in Riyadh. "Investors are locking in gains. There’s a lack of institutional participation as some investors prefer to close their books as we approach the end of the year.’’

European stocks
fell, with the Stoxx 600 losing 0.2 percent at 12:39 p.m. in London.
Fed officials will probably make no change to the size of the stimulus
when they meet today in Washington for the last time this year,
according to 38 of 39 analysts in a Bloomberg survey on December 7-8.
Bernanke, in an interview broadcast on December 5, told CBS Corp.’s “60
Minutes” that the recovery may not be self-sustaining and more
purchases of debt beyond the $600bn approved by the Fed through
June are “certainly possible.”

Sales at US
retailers probably climbed in November for a fifth month as holiday
shopping got under way, economists said before a report later today.
German investor confidence improved for a second month in December as
the recovery in Europe’s largest economy shows signs of broadening, the
ZEW Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim said as UAE
markets closed.

Aldar retreated
to AED2.30, the lowest since December 7. The company said November 9 it is
in the final stages of discussions with the Abu Dhabi government
regarding its funding requirements. Aldar has AED22.4bn ($6bn) of debt outstanding, including  AED11.8bn due in
2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“There is some
speculation that Aldar may not secure funding,” said Humam al-Shamaa,
economic advisor at Abu Dhabi-based Al Fajer Securities. “We have
yet to hear from the company.”

Aldar’s chief
financial officer Shafqat Ali Malik said December 8 “we have said before we
will give the framework in the fourth quarter.” He declined to provide
details.

Etisalat decreased 0.5 percent to AED10.85, the lowest since October 11.

The QE Index in
Qatar increased 0.9 percent after retreating as much as 0.6 percent
earlier. The Kuwait SE Price Index was little changed and Oman’s MSM 30
Index fell 0.2 percent. Bahrain’s gauge and Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All
Share Index advanced 0.2 percent.

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