UAE's Senaat invests $600m in Abu Dhabi industry

Gov't-owned company's chairman says it is likely to invest as much again this year

Senaat's investments included one in Emirates Steel. (Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Senaat's investments included one in Emirates Steel. (Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Abu Dhabi government-owned General Holding Corp (Senaat) on Wednesday said it invested AED2.2bn ($600m) in industry last year and would invest as much this year, as the emirate seeks to diversify its economy beyond oil.

Investments went into expansion of core industries such as Emirates Steel, Arkan Building Materials Co and Agthia Group.

Since 2004, Senaat has invested about AED16bn in Abu Dhabi's industrial sector.

"All of this new investment is consistent with our strategy to engage in industrial projects and we will continue to invest every year," Hussain al Nowais, chairman of Senaat, told Reuters after announcing the company's results.

Unlisted Senaat's revenues totalled AED12.3bn in 2012, up 7.2 percent over the previous year. But net profit was lower at AED1.3bn compared to AED1.5bn in 2011, mainly due to higher depreciation costs, al Nowais said.

Total assets grew 7.8 percent to AED25.4bn in 2012.

Two of Senaat's companies, Arkan and Agthia, are listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Market and there are plans to list more when market conditions improve, said al Nowais.

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