Credit crunch may hold back Taqa expansion

INTERVIEW: CEO raises questions over whether firm will hit target of $60bn in assets by '12.

The CEO of Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (Taqa) has raised questions over whether the investment firm will hit its target of controlling $60 billion in assets by 2012, Arabian Business can reveal.

In an exclusive interview to be published on Sunday, Peter Barker-Homek says “prudent investment” and problems raising capital could hold back its acquisition drive.

“I think we are on target to achieve [$60 billion in assets by 2012]. Do I think we’ll achieve it? I guess it depends a lot on the depth of the financial crisis, which would make capital more or less available,” he says.

“The opportunities will clearly be there, and certainly [there will be] more opportunities if we have a deeper recession. But if we don’t hit [target] it is for a combination of things.

“Firstly prudent investment didn’t get us there, and the second component could be struggling in raising capital, although so far we have had no problems.”

Taqa last week saw profit jump 154 percent in the second quarter, boosted by its newly-acquired overseas operations and record oil prices.

TAQA said Q2 net income increased to 471 million dirhams ($128.2 million), or 11 fils-per-share, compared to 186 million dirhams during the same period last year.

First half profit jumped 249 percent to 869 million dirhams, or 21 fils-per-share.

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