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Dubai shares plunge 6.7 percent on Arabtec woes

Dubai shares plunge 6.7 percent on Arabtec woes/AFP

Dubai shares plunge 6.7 percent on Arabtec woes/AFP

DUBAI, June 24- Share prices in Dubai plunged 6.7 percent on Tuesday, the market’s biggest loss in 10 months, on the back of troubles associated with leading construction company Arabtec.

Arabtec was down by the limit of 10 percent for the third day running after admitting it had laid off staff following the resignation of its chief executive Hassan Ismaik last week.

The Dubai Financial Market Index ended the day at 4,009.1 points, its lowest level since March 14, but at one point during trading it was down 8.7 percent at an eight year low.

The developments at Arabtec forced a massive sell off as most listed firms dropped and all sectors suffered losses.

Industrials lost 10 percent, financial and investment and services 9.7 percent each, telecoms 8.6 percent and real estate shed 6.2 percent.

The DFM Index plunged 7.0 percent on August 27 last year on fears of possible US military intervention in the Syrian conflict.

Since early May, the Dubai stock exchange, the Gulf’s fifth largest in terms of market value, has shed more than 20 percent mostly on Arabtec concerns.

After sustaining huge losses at the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008 and the subsequent woes over Dubai’s huge debt, the DFM has made an impressive comeback in the past few years.

Last year, it gained a mammoth 108 percent after a 20 percent rise in 2012 on the back of positive economic indicators for Dubai and the whole United Arab Emirates.

Despite the losses in recent weeks, the DFM is still up 18.9 percent on the year while its market capitalisation lost more than $5 billion on Tuesday to around $85 billion.

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The stock market in neighbouring Abu Dhabi closed down 3.3 percent at 4,553.31 points on Tuesday, with investment and financial services losing 9.65 percent and real estate shedding 8.0 percent.

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