Dubai contractor Arabtec lays off staff, execs in wake of CEO departure

DUBAI, June 23 Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:29am EDT

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DUBAI, June 23 (Reuters) - Dubai contractor Arabtec Holding has laid off a significant number of employees in the wake of chief executive Hasan Ismaik's departure last week, sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Monday.

Large numbers of staff, including at least two senior executives, have departed the company since Ismaik resigned, the industry sources told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

Arabtec declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

The sources couldn't confirm details, including which executives had departed or the exact number of people who had left the company.

Bloomberg News reported earlier on Monday that the number was in the hundreds and included the company's head of mergers and acquisitions, Shohidul Ahad-Choudhury.

"As far as I know and from what I've heard from inside the company, it has more to do with the change of management rather than cost-cutting," said Allen Sandeep, director of research at Naeem Holding.

The company has been reeling in recent days, with its share price dropping by nearly half since the beginning of June, as market rumours over the commitment of its main shareholder - Abu Dhabi state-owned fund Aabar Investments - and the position of former CEO Ismaik damaged investor sentiment.

Its share price was down 10 percent at 0920 GMT, the maximum daily limit allowed. Should it close at that level, it will be the sixth trading session in the last 11 in which the price has dropped its daily limit. (Reporting by Nadia Saleem and Olzhas Auyezov in Dubai and Stanley Carvalho in Abu Dhabi; Writing by David French; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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