DUBAI,(Reuters) – Arabtec said on Wednesday there is no truth in market rumors that Abu Dhabi’s Aabar Investment would take a stake in the construction heavyweight.
“We confirm that there have been no talks between the company and Aabar in this regard,” Ziad Makhzoumi, Arabtec’s chief financial officer, said in a statement on the Dubai bours.
Rumours had driven the Dubai-listed firm’s stock more than 25 percent higher this week, before a sell-off in Tuesday’s session.
On Monday, Arabtec’s chief executive told Reuters he was unaware of any reason for the sharp run-up in the company’s shares, after the stock went limit-up.
Arabtec — which has ventured into new markets such as Russia, Qatar and Saudi Arabia as the global downturn hits business at home in Dubai — has said it will turn its main focus to other locales including Abu Dhabi where it has won contracts this year.
The real estate and construction focus in the United Arab Emirates has been shifting to Abu Dhabi from Dubai and the latter emirate’s debt crisis may only add to the move.
The crisis, sparked by Dubai’s Nov. 25 request to delay repayment on $26 billion in debt for six months, is expected to delay the recovery for the UAE’s real estate sector and put renewed downward pressure on property prices and rentals.
Shares in Arabtec were 0.4 percent higher at 2.63 dirhams, less than an hour before the Dubai market closed.
Shares in Abu Dhabi-listed Aabar, the biggest shareholder in German automaker Daimler, were 1.7 percent lower.