Dubai’s bourse pulled back in early trade on Wednesday as investors appeared to be accumulating cash for the upcoming initial public offer of Emaar Properties’ malls unit.
The Dubai index slid 1.1 per cent as most stocks were down. Emaar itself lost 0.9 per cent. In one of the largest equity sales in the Middle East since 2008, the company plans to float its unit Emaar Malls Group (EMG) this month and subscriptions for the shares will open on Sept. 14.
“There’s a huge IPO coming so I think investors are preparing cash,” said Ali Adou, portfolio manager at The National Investor in Abu Dhabi. “The focus is on the smaller speculative names which tells you that retail investors are exiting and accumulating cash.”
Wednesday is the last trading day on which buyers of Emaar shares can gain the right to priority allotment in the malls IPO. This may have prompted some buying of Emaar shares on Wednesday, but the priority allotment is only 10 per cent of the entire offer; all retail investors combined will be allowed to buy up to 30 percent.
Small-cap stocks Gulf Navigation and Ajman Bank were the biggest losters, down 3.5 and 3.2 per cent respectively.
Abu Dhabi’s index moved little while Qatar’s benchmark climbed 0.3 per cent to a new all-time intra-day high of 14,090 points on the back of banks and industrial blue chips.
Egypt’s bourse rebounded after two days of profit-taking and edged up 0.3 per cent shortly after opening. Property developers Talaat Moustafa Group and SODIC were among the main supports.