Large trading volumes returned to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) yesterday as brokers busily completed sell orders for Aabar Investments on the company's final day on the bourse. As Aabar bought back its stock as part of its plan to delist from the ADX, 430 million shares changed hands yesterday, more than seven times the volume for the rest of the ADX combined. Aabar shares rose 1 per cent to Dh1.95, the price the company's majority shareholder, the International Petroleum Investment Company, had agreed to pay minority shareholders under a plan to take the company private. Aabar shareholders who sold their stakes are to be paid tomorrow.
Brokers believe that shareholders still holding Aabar stock may be able to sell it but will have to unload it in the unregulated, over-the-counter market. "There is no market to control the price. Today Aabar had to buy back shares at Dh1.95 because it was the market price," said Rami Awwad, the operations manager at Al Awael Securities in Abu Dhabi. "Tomorrow they may buy them back at Dh1.50, Dh5 or even nominal value, depending on the share owner and the company."
The ADX General Index closed down 0.1 per cent at 2,526.93. The Dubai Financial Market General Index closed down 1.5 per cent at 1,493. Arabtec Holding lost 3.43 per cent to close at Dh1.69. The Kuwaiti and Omani indexes were unchanged at 6,662.30 and 6,351.55, respectively. Bahrain's gauge declined 0.1 per cent to 1,399.74, and Qatar's measure dropped 0.3 per cent to 7,110.55. The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index slipped 0.1 per cent to 6,323.95.