Global gloom takes its toll on UAE stock markets

Markets fell in the Emirates amid a broad selloff of company stocks.
Shares in Emaar Properties dropped 5.3 per cent.
Shares in Emaar Properties dropped 5.3 per cent.
Markets fell sharply in the UAE yesterday amid a broad sell-off of company stocks.

Shares in Emaar Properties, the developer of the world's largest tower, had their largest decline since March, dropping 5.3 per cent on the Dubai Financial Market General Index.

Arabtec Holding, the biggest construction company in the Emirates, released disappointing results yesterday - second-quarter profit was down 74 per cent to Dh28.9 million, pushing its stock to its biggest drop since March. Shares of Arabtec fell more than 6 per cent, to Dh1.34.

Overall, the Dubai index fell more than 3.6 per cent in its most dramatic drop since February. It closed at 1,484.31. For the most part, declines were because of larger concerns about the recovery of the global economy and a recent downgrading of the US debt rating.

"Today's market reaction was on the back of what's happening globally," said Saleem Khokhar, the head of equities at the National Bank of Abu Dhabi's asset management group.

That concern was evident at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where stocks declined more than 2.5 per cent, ending at 2,603.22. Investors in "Abu Dhabi retreated less" than in Dubai, said Mr Khokhar.

Abu Dhabi National Energy rose 1.57 per cent to Dh1.29.

Aldar Properties was the most actively traded company by volume on the capital's index and its value fell 5.47 per cent, to Dh1.21.

Aldar recently reported a net profit for the first half of the year of Dh127m, compared with a net loss of Dh475m during the same period last year. But some analysts remain cautious about Aldar's performance, citing a need for refinancing.

Published: August 8, 2011 04:00 AM


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