Dubai's Aramex Rallies, Foreigners Cheer Australia Post Exit
(Bloomberg) -- Aramex PJSC gained the most in more than four years after a unit of Australian Postal Corp. sold its stake in Middle Eastern package-delivery service, enabling other foreign investors to buy the stock.
Aramex advanced 9.1 percent in Dubai on Wednesday, the biggest increase since December 2014, to end at the highest level in more than a year. It was the best performer among the 37 companies on Dubai’s main share index.
Australia Post Transaction Services Pty sold its 10 percent holding in Aramex for about 603 million dirhams ($164 million), according to a filing. That opens the door for more investors from outside the Gulf to buy stakes, since the stock was almost at the 49 percent regulatory limit of foreign ownership.
“Aramex is a great company trading at very cheap valuations,” and Australia Post’s disposal “is a catalyst for unlocking this value,” said Mohammed Al-Alwan, managing director at Al Rajhi Investment in Riyadh. “Many hedge fund managers were unable to buy this company because of the foreign ownership limit. Many people were waiting on the sidelines.”
Read more: Aramex Reports Record Annual Profit After Restructuring
The delivery company, which competes in the Middle East with Deutsche Post AG’s DHL and United Parcel Service Inc., offers advantages including a high return on equity and zero net debt, Al-Alwan said.
Here’s what others are saying about Aramex:
Ali El Adou, head of asset management at Daman Investments in Dubai:
- Stake sale “is positive and is in full alignment with Aramex strategy. The foreign ownership room opening is also positive as it removes overhang on the name”
- Aramex trades at a “big discount versus its emerging-market peers”
Arqaam Capital analysts including Rita Guindy and Sidharth Saboo:
- Australia Post’s withdrawal has “opened up substantial (albeit closing) foreign room up from zero room, but not enough to result in index inclusion” in major emerging-markets benchmarks
- “We expect active investors to get more involved in the name, bringing foreign room back down quickly again”
- Moment is “excellent“ to buy the stock. Broker reiterates its core buy recommendation on Aramex with a target price of 5.80 dirhams
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