Arabtec remains Dubai Financial Market's biggest mover

Arabtec's shares have single-handedly accounted for a substantial proportion of the bull run on the Dubai Financial Market seen earlier this year.

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As the bulls began a formidable stampede on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) in January, Arabtec Holding was the heaviest of the herd.

Taking the beginning of the year as a starting point, the DFM General Index crossed the threshold of entering a bull market on February 23, having added 278.88 points during that period.

A bull market is defined as an increase of 20 per cent or more in the value of an index. By the time markets topped out later that month, the DFM had added a total of 400.81 points.

Arabtec's share price rise accounted for almost a quarter of those gains, market data showed.

The gains for the company's shares were enough to almost single-handedly propel the emirate into bull market territory by the end of February.

Arabtec is the third-biggest weighting in the DFM General Index after Emaar Properties and Dubai Islamic Bank, representing a weighting of 9.42 per cent.

Shares in the Dubai-listed construction company rallied as much as 128.3 per cent to highs of Dh3.45 each at the end of February.

During that time, the shares' run-up added 99.2 points to the DFM General Index.

Rumours that a big investor was quietly accumulating shares in the company was among the worst-kept secrets of the emirate's stock exchange at that time.

That investor was revealed yesterday to be Abu Dhabi's Aabar Investments.

"This has been going on for some time," said Rami Sidani, a fund manager and the head of the Middle East and North Africa region at Schroders.

"Everyone knew in the markets that they'd bought more than 5 per cent … because they've been buying through different entities it was possible for them not to disclose the exact beneficiary."

Since the disclosure of quarterly earnings on Wednesday, Arabtec's stock has fallen 12 per cent.

On the way down, its shares were again the biggest factor moving markets - trimming 32.6 points from the index since markets peaked in March.

The DFM index as a whole declined 265.96 points during the same period.

Even accounting for the sell-off of the past few trading sessions, Arabtec remains the biggest single mover on the DFM General Index of the year, accounting for about half of the gains on the index so far.

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