Major bourses in the Gulf declined in early trade on Monday, with Abu Dhabi index tumbling more than 3% to hit a six-month low, overwhelmed by losses in conglomerate International Holding Company and its subsidiaries.
According to media report, IHC - which has an exposure in Adani Enterprises, Adani Transmission and Adani Green Energy - was considering bidding for Indian billionaire Gautam Adani-led Adani Enterprises' 200 billion rupee ($2.45 billion) follow-on sale of shares that began on Wednesday. The deal closes on Tuesday.
In a statement to Bloomberg, IHC Spokesperson Ahmad Ibrahim said the conglomerate's business decisions are purely based on an analysis of objective facts.
Most Adani Group shares extended their sharp losses on Monday as the Indian conglomerate's rebuttal of a U.S. short-seller's criticism failed to pacify investors, driving stock market losses for the companies to $66 billion over three days.
Stock markets in the region also dropped, tracking losses in oil prices as global producers are likely to keep production unchanged during a meeting this week and investors are cautious ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting.
Crude price - a key catalyst for Gulf's financial markets - fell 69 cents, or 0.8%, to $85.97 a barrel by 0738 GMT.
Abu Dhabi's benchmark index plunged 3.4%, its steepest decline since November 2019, as shares of comglomerate IHC slipped 5.2%.
Among other losers, IHC's subsidiaries Alpha Dhabi Holding and Multiply Group plunged 10% each, while state-controlled integrated utility firm Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (also known as TAQA) dropped 8.9%.
Dubai's benchmark index fell 1.1%, trading near its six-month low, as blue-chip developer Emaar Properties dropped 1.9%.
Benchmark Qatari index retreated 1% as almost all of the index constituents were in negative territory, dragged down by a 5.1% decline in Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan.
The lender posted a more than 22% slump in full-year net profit.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark stock index dipped 0.8%, on course to snap a seven-day rally, with largest Islamic lender in the world Al Rajhi Bank falling 2.2% after posting almost flat quarterly growth sequentially, although bank reported a 16% rise in its full-year net profit.
(Reporting by Mohd Edrees in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)