Dubai’s market pulled back in early trade on Thursday as the bourse suspended trading in shares of construction firm Arabtec, while Abu Dhabi and Qatar edged up.
Arabtec, the most heavily traded stock in Dubai, was suspended pending clarification of media reports about strategic partners’ stake in the firm, the bourse said, citing instructions from the United Arab Emirates’ Securities and Commodities Authority.
The suspension appeared to indicate that regulators are now taking a more active approach to volatility in Arabtec shares and disclosure of information about the company, after wild swings in the stock over the past two months destabilised the entire stock market.
Dubai’s index slipped 0.7 per cent as property stocks retreated. Developers Emaar Properties and Union Properties fell 0.4 and 1.4 per cent respectively.
Abu Dhabi’s blue chips continued to support its index , which gained 0.1 per cent. Telecommunications firm Etisalat rose 0.4 per cent and First Gulf Bank added 1.1 per cent.
But shares in Dana Gas dropped 2.5 per cent, after Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region on Wednesday rejected a statement by the firm that a London tribunal had awarded the company the right to receive some outstanding payments from the Kurdish government.
Qatar’s bourse added 0.2 per cent largely on the back of Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan, which rose 1.3 per cent.
Doha Bank slipped 0.8 per cent after its profit rose in line with analysts’ forecasts, disappointing investors who had bet on a positive surprise and had driven the stock up 4.2 per cent ahead of the earnings announcement.