x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Arabtec shares rise as Abu Dhabi's Aabar increases stake

Markets Update: Shares in Arabtec, the construction and property development company, jumped this morning on news Aabar Investments had upped its stake in the builder to 5.8 per cent.

Shares in Arabtec, the construction and property development company, jumped this morning on news Aabar Investments, a sovereign investment company owned by the Abu Dhabi government, had upped its stake in the builder to 5.8 per cent.

The Arabtec announcement came after markets closed yesterday. Shares in the builder have risen since the start of the year on rumours of a planned takeover. Its share price has increased from Dh1.56 on January 2 to Dh3.53 today, a leap of 122 per cent. Meanwhile the benchmark Dubai bourse is up 28.87 per cent since the start of January.

The stock jumped to Dh5.14 a share in early trading this morning before a sell off sent it back down by 0.57 fils a share.

Today the Dubai General Financial Market Index was down slightly in early trading, dropping 0.06 per cent to 1,753.26. The Abu Dhabi Securities Market General Index fell 0.19 per cent 2,620

Stock markets in Europe and Asia closed down in a sea of red after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said China had set a 7.5 per cent economic growth target for this year - lower than the 8 per cent target of the last eight years.

The announcement offset positive US data from the Institute of Supply Management which showed the country's service sector beat economists' expectations to grow at its fastest pace for a year. The sector accounts for two thirds of the economy.

The price of a barrel of dated Brent crude was down 0.43 per cent having dropped 0.53 cents to US$123.

In Europe, a report on the state of the euro zone due out later today is expected to show that economy shrank in the fourth quarter.