x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Aldar executive denies delist rumour

A top Aldar executive has denied rumours the company is planning to delist from the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange

A top Aldar Properties executive yesterday denied rumours the company would delist from the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, after the company's stock price dropped to record lows.

At one point shares in Abu Dhabi's largest property developer level fell 7 per cent, to 79 fils, before rallying to close at 82 fils.

The rumour of a possible delisting was the only apparent catalyst for the sell-off, analysts say. But Mohammed Al Mubarak, the deputy chief executive of Aldar, replied "absolutely not" when Bloomberg News asked about reports of a delisting.

"We have no plans to delist," Mr Al Mubarak said.

An Aldar spokesman declined further comment.

Investors are worried that a delisting might freeze out smaller shareholders, said Ankur Khetawat, an analyst with HC Securities.

"People don't want to get stuck like with Amlak," said Mr Khetawat, referring to shares in the Dubai mortgage company that have been frozen since November 2008.

"People don't want to take the risk" of a delisting.

The delisting rumour follows the move last week by Mubadala Development, Aldar's largest shareholder, to convert Dh2.1 billion (US$571.6 million) in bonds into shares priced at Dh1.75. If Mubadala, a strategic investment company owned by the Abu Dhabi Government, chooses to convert another Dh700m worth of bonds, it would own more than 50 per cent of Aldar's shares, Mr Khetawat said.

Aldar's biggest shareholders after Mubadala include the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Shuaa Capital, according to Bloomberg News.

Aldar cut 24 per cent of its staff in October as the company shifted its focus from developing new projects to managing assets.

kbrass@thenational.ae

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