Sorouh shares rocket in Abu Dhabi as Aldar merger agreed

Markets Update: Shares in the Abu Dhabi developer rise after its board approved a merger with Aldar.

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Shares in the Abu Dhabi developer Sorouh Real Estate rose this morning after its board approved a merger with Aldar.

Sorouh, which developed Reem Island's Sun & Sky Tower, rocketed 12.8 per cent to Dh1.83. It advanced as much as 15 per cent at the opening of the Abu Dhabi market.

The merger of the two property firms is "a positive step," said Wadah Al Taha, chief investment officer at Al Zarooni Group, an investment company in Dubai.

"The body will be able to handle strategic infrastructure works for the Abu Dhabi Government; it's going to be positive for the economy and for the pipeline of projects as a whole."

The merger deal will comprise of a share-swap agreement, whereby Sorouh shareholders will receive 1.288 Aldar shares for each Sorouh share they hold.

"Sorouh shareholders get a better deal, while Aldar's shareholders remain as is," Mr Al Taha said. "This is because Sorouh's debt-to-equity ratio is much lower than Aldar's and its book value is a lot higher," he added.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index gained 0.5 per cent to 2796.88 points.