x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Tamweel stumbles on bourse return and Arabtec suffers after profit drop

Markets Update: The UAE's markets see the return of Tamweel, trading for the first time today since the stock's suspension in 2008, while Arabtec and Tabreed report lower earnings for the quarter.

Hopes of a triumphant return for Tamweel's shares didn't start well as the stock fell in its first morning of trading since the stock's suspension in 2008, but the stock's fall was arrested as the exchange's circuit breaker kicked in.

Shares in the Islamic mortgage lender opened trading at 89.1 fils per share, hitting the exchange's 10 per cent limit for downwards stock movements. The shares were last traded at 99 fils in November 2008.

Tamweel's shares were frozen after the lender suffered a liquidity crunch at the onset of the global financial crisis. Dubai Islamic Bank's acquisition of a 53.88 stake last year augured a return to lending and a resumption of trading.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index fell 0.36 per cent to 1,582.44 in early trading, with Tamweel among the most heavily traded stocks. Meanwhile, stocks on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange declined 0.54 per cent to 2,661.13.

But the greatest worries were seen over Arabtec, the largest publicly-traded construction company in the UAE.

The company posted profits of Dh26.6m this morning, a decline of 80.2 per cent on the same quarter a year ago. The results were a disappointment for analysts, who had been expecting profits of Dh70m, according to consensus estimates from Bloomberg.

"Arabtec's numbers are a mess," said one trader, who asked not to be identified. "They've a huge amount of money as receivables, but they're also struggling in their ability to raise money."

The company's shares fell 2.13 per cent to Dh1.38 a share in early trading.

Meanwhile, Tabreed, the district cooling company, posted a decrease in profits of 25.1 per cent to Dh32.8m for the quarter, though the figures beat analysts' estimates of profits of Dh26m. The company's shares were flat at Dh1.35.

Union Properties' improved earnings yesterday saw the developer's stocks rise 3.28 per cent to 40.9 fils per share this morning, steadying Dubai's measure against the drop at Arabtec.