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Arabtec shares suspended as rumours of Aabar buyout surface

Regulators prevent rumors surrounding Arabtec from escalating in the market

The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) suspends trading in shares for Arabtec.

Shares in construction giant Arabtec were suspended today (Thursday, July 17), following reports late on Wednesday that Aabar Investments, Arabtec’s second largest shareholder (18.94%), was planning to buyout some of the shares currently owned by former CEO, and biggest shareholder (28.9%), Hasan Ismaik.

Ismaik resigned as CEO of the company on June 18, only two weeks after raising his ownership in the firm from 8% to his current 28.9% share. Coupled with state-owned Aabar decreasing its stake from 21.57% to 18.94%, confidence in Arabtec rapidly fell throughout June, with the firm losing 50% in market value within days.

Although stability was drastically regained by early July, as Aabar announced it would not be abandoning its partners, there was no mention as to what would be of Ismaik’s shares considering his dramatic exit, nor indeed what caused the saga and what was in the pipeline.

Even the latest reports that Ismaik may be selling to his former partners fail to explain why each party is sharply contradicting their buy/sell strategy throughout June.

Nonetheless, such news is likely to further rally support for Arabtec investors, and as recent weeks have shown, the entire market. It is for this reason that regulators have seemingly learnt their lesson and are awaiting clarity on the issue before allowing the ongoing Arabtec saga to, once again, dictate market performance.

Representatives of Aabar Investments and Hasan Ismaik have both declined to comment on the reports.