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Arabtec Holding Co, the largest listed construction company in the UAE, was suspended from trading on the Dubai bourse on Thursday pending clarification of its ownership.
The Dubai Financial Market, on instructions from the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), demanded Arabtec to respond to a report that Aabar Investments, its second-biggest investor, was in talks to increase stake.
A statement on the DFM website said Arabtec was suspended “awaiting clarification from the company on media reports about strategic partners’ stake.”
Last week, the SCA issued a statement saying it was establishing a new committee to ensure the soundness and integrity of share trading and prevent any manipulation of stock prices.
The state-owned Aabar Investments has been reportedly in talks to buy at least half of a 28.9 per cent stake held by the construction company’s former chief executive officer Hasan Ismaik.
Arabtec’s stock, which more than tripled earlier this year, lost 59 per cent in Dubai trading from June 5 to June 30 amid rumours about the downsizing of the stake held by Aabar Investments and the sudden exit of Ismaik. That dragged down the Dubai Financial Market General Index, which fell 23 per cent during that period. But later on as concerns eased that Aabar would divest its stake, the trend got reversed and the gauge entered a bull market on July 15 after adding 21 per cent.
On Thursday, stocks on Dubai bourse posted their biggest weekly gain since March. The DFM General Index increased 0.9 per cent to 4,903.46 at the close, the highest since June 8, bringing its weekly gain to 7.2 per cent.
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