Shares in Mashreq, Dubai’s third-largest bank by market value, surge after the lender said it was boosting the limit on foreign ownership in the stock to 20 per cent.
Mashreq jumps 15 per cent, its daily limit, to its highest level since May 2012. Trading is very thin, however, with only 200 shares changing hands; the stock is usually illiquid.
One analyst, who declined to be named under briefing rules, said the bank could be increasing the limit on foreign ownership in preparation to raise capital.
MSCI’s upgrade of United Arab Emirates markets to emerging market status, to take effect next June, is expected to bring more foreign money into the Dubai bourse.
About 20 per cent of Mashreq’s shares are free-float, while the Al-Ghurair family holds a stake of about 70 per cent, according to Reuters data.