DFM sees a bulk deal early Wednesday - and it sure was quite the big one. It resulted in Dubai Investments raising its stake in National General Insurance to just under 30%. Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai Investments has raised its stake in National General Insurance to 29.99 per cent, following a ‘Direct Deal’ effected early on Wednesday (April 21). With this deal, Dubai Investments becomes the biggest shareholder in the insurer.

Dubai Investments bought up in bulk 32.28 million shares of NGI today, together representing 21.53 per cent of the issued share capital of the Dubai insurer. It was bought from Emirates NBD, the majority shareholder of NGI. National General Insurance shares are currently at Dh2.15, with its 52-week high being Dh2.2. (Emirates NBD now has 15.19 per cent in it.)

What's a Direct Deal all about?
The Dubai Investments buy of NGI's stake from Emirates NBD came through via a Direct Deal, which is about picking up a sizable stake in a listed company via a bulk transaction.

On DFM, such deals are done between 8am-8.30am, and hence are exempt from any price correction/change that could happen during actual trading hours.

The 32.28 million shares resulted in a transaction value of Dh105.57 million (at Dh3.27 a share). It was recently that Dubai Financial Market started offering Direct Deal service, which allows a significant transaction in a listed company to be done. In these deals, the price cap changes – of whether 15 per cent going up or 10 per cent down – are exempt.

"This deal has taken Dubai Investments' total stake in NGI close to 30 per cent," said Vijay Valecha, Chief Investment Officer at Century Financial. "The stock trading at 7 times earnings looks to be undervalued at the moment and the stock price has been extremely stable. A rise in volumes post this Direct Deal could lead to a run up in price."