Arabtec hit by report on Egyptian homes deal

Arabtec fell to the lowest in more than a month after an Egyptian newspaper said the company’s deal to build 1 million homes in the country has been put on hold.

Shares in the UAE’s biggest publicly traded construction company retreated 2.9 per cent to Dh2.97 at the close in Dubai, the lowest level since January 29. It was the biggest decliner on Dubai’s DFM General Index, which also dropped to the lowest in more than a month.

Al Masry Al Youm, a Cairo-based newspaper, reported on Sunday that Arabtec has not met conditions set by the state for the project, citing general Kamel Al Wazir, the head of the Egyptian military’s engineering division. The stalled project is a blow to Arabtec, whose shares never fully recovered from a 65 per cent slump between May and June after the chief executive Hasan Ismaik resigned and top managers were dismissed.

“Even though this news has been repeated several times, it has impacted the stock, but it isn’t the only reason why the Arabtec is down,” said Wadah Al Taha, the chief investment officer at Al Zarooni. “The negative news was compounded with an overall negative sentiment in the market because of declining oil prices. There’s very little liquidity in the market.”

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