Arabtec uncertainty may weigh on Dubai index

Shares in Dubai builder fell 5.8 percent following uncertainty over Aabar stake
Arabtec uncertainty may weigh on Dubai index
UAE stock exchange, Dubai bourse
By Reuters
Mon 14 May 2012 10:09 AM

Uncertainty regarding Abu Dhabi fund Aabar's ownership in Dubai builder Arabtec Holding may weigh on the stock Monday, while Gulf bourses have a negative lead from global market on deepening Greek woes.

Arabtec on Monday issued a statement saying Aabar's stake in the company is 20.8 percent, refuting a press report which cited Aabar Chairman saying the fund owns 53 percent of the company.

Shares in Arabtec fell 5.8 percent on Sunday to its lowest close since March 27 after Dubai's market official said Aabar had increased its stake in the builder to 53 percent, raising fears that the company may de-list and minority shareholder interest would be overlooked.

Arabtec is not disclosing the stake held by Aabar affiliates and hence the discrepancy in ownership, says Marwan Shurrab, vice-president and chief trader at Gulfmena Investments

"Aabar's stake exceeds the 50 percent through Aabar and affiliate ownership and they still have the willingness to buy more," Shurrab said.

"There is uncertainty around the stock-there is a new power in the company which could suggest capital increase or shareholder dilution, which the market is afraid of."

Elsewhere in UAE, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank warned on Sunday that profit growth for the rest of the year would be "subdued" as it posted flat income for the first quarter of 2012 on increased provisioning.

Its net profit was in line with analysts' average forecast.

Asian shares fell on Monday after weekend talks to form a new Greek government failed and China's latest move to loosen monetary policy highlighted concerns its economy is faltering. Brent crude slipped towards US$111 a barrel.

All Gulf markets finished lower on Sunday as a worsening euro zone crisis and fears of slowing global growth prompt investors to cut risk off equities.

"Right now the game is consolidation with a narrow range of volatility due to global uncertainty. There is a high correlation between our markets and global link at the current time. All eyes are on Greece and whether they will exit the euro zone or not," Shurrab adds.

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