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Stock News: Gulf Markets Mixed; Arabtec Dampens Dubai

Stock News: Gulf Markets Mixed; Arabtec Dampens Dubai

Arabtec posted an unexpected Q4 loss of $25.7 million, blaming non-recurring general and administrative expenses.

Gulf stock markets were narrowly mixed in early trade on Sunday, but Dubai builder Arabtec tumbled after swinging to a fourth-quarter loss.

Arabtec fell 6.5 per cent and was the main drag on Dubai’s index, which edged down 0.4 per cent.

The company posted an unexpected fourth-quarter loss of Dhs94.4 million ($25.7 million), blaming non-recurring general and administrative expenses.

Arabtec reorganised itself and laid off some executives and staff after the abrupt departure in June last year of former chief executive Hasan Ismaik, who resigned after differences of opinion with Aabar Investments, a key shareholder.

The construction firm, whose shares are among the most traded on Dubai’s bourse, also proposed no cash dividend for 2014, but offered a five per cent bonus share issue.

Arabtec aside, the market was generally positive after oil extended its rebound on Friday. Dubai blue chips Emaar Properties and Dubai Islamic Bank rose 0.9 and 1.3 per cent respectively.

Qatar’s index climbed 0.3 per cent, continuing a broad rally. The Gulf state is proceeding with planned economic development projects despite cheaper oil and is prioritising those related to health, education and transport, finance minister Ali Sherif al-Emadi said on Sunday.

Also, at the end of last week world soccer body FIFA ended more than four years of uncertainty over the timing of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar by announcing on Thursday that it would be played in November and December, with the final on Dec. 18.

Oman and Abu Dhabi’s bourse were nearly flat, and Kuwait inched down 0.1 per cent.

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