Dubai's Arabtec soars as ex chief Hasan Ismaik adds to stake

Arabtec’s former chief executive Hasan Ismaik has added to his stake, helping to boost shares of the construction company the most in more than a year.

The former CEO’s holdings rose to 11.91 per cent on Monday from 11.81 per cent, according to data on the website of Dubai Financial Market. The stock price surged 14 per cent to Dh1.44, the biggest increase since December 2014, as more than 414 million shares changed hands. Arabtec was the second-biggest contributor to the gain in Dubai’s DFM General Index, which advanced 2 per cent to the highest level since November.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen shares jump this much,” said Nabil Farhat, an Abu Dhabi-based partner at Al Fajr Securities. “Speculators are chasing liquid stocks and Ismaik’s increasing his stake is driving more investors to buy. It’s unclear how much he can increase his stake to.”

The biggest-listed construction company in the UAE was at the centre of a stock selloff that wiped a fifth from Dubai’s benchmark index in June 2014 amid a reshuffle of senior management and investor concern the company was losing Abu Dhabi-government support. While Arabtec shares never recovered and are down about 80 per cent from their peak, their 14-day relative-strength index rose above 70 for the first time since June, a signal to some analysts they may be overbought and poised to decline.

Ismaik didn’t respond to calls and messages to his mobile. A spokeswoman for Arabtec declined to comment. CNBC Arabia reported the news earlier, citing people it didn’t identify.

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