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Emaar leads post-blaze stock slump

Emaar Properties PJSC slid the most in more than two weeks, leading a decline in Dubai stocks, on concern a fire that ripped through its hotel on New Year’s Eve will curb earnings. Abu Dhabi shares also fell.

Emaar dropped as much as 4.4 percent, before paring its slide to 3.5 percent at 10:31 a.m. local time. The developer of the world’s tallest tower was the biggest contributor to the DFM General Index’s 1.6 percent loss. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index retreated 0.8 percent.

Emaar developed, owned and operated the Address Downtown Dubai hotel, which on Thursday caught fire as Dubai prepared for its New Year’s Eve fireworks display. Fifteen people sustained light to moderate injuries, while one person suffered a heart attack, the Dubai media office said on Thursday.

 “Investors are concerned about how the fire at the hotel will impact the hotel revenue for Emaar,” said Dubai-based Samer Al-Jaouni, the head of institutional business at Menacorp. “Investors want to know the losses to Emaar and want clarification on the insurance situation.”

Real Estate Index

The blaze comes almost a year after a fire at the Dubai Marina Torch, one of the world’s tallest residential buildings. In 2012, the Tamweel tower in the Jumeirah Lake Towers district neighboring the marina was wrecked by fire.

“The longer term issue would be to look at safety of skyscrapers in general,” said Abu Dhabi-based Sachin Mohindra, a money manager at Invest AD Asset Management. “This is an industry wide issue and has been discussed since the fire at the Tamweel Tower in JLT.”

The DFM Real Estate Index retreated as much as 2.8 percent, the most in two weeks, before trading 1.9 percent lower.-Bloomberg