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Thu 30 Jun 2016 08:11 PM

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Abu Dhabi fund IPIC records $2.6bn loss due to low oil price

Fund says slumping oil prices has slashed its revenue by 30% last year to $35.8bn

Abu Dhabi fund IPIC records $2.6bn loss due to low oil price

Abu Dhabi state investment fund International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC) said it suffered a net loss of $2.6 billion in 2015, reflecting the blow to the wealthy emirate's finances from low oil prices.

The loss compared with a profit of $1.5 billion in 2014, IPIC said in a statement on Thursday. Cheap oil caused the fund to take pre-tax impairment losses of $5.2 billion on its oil and gas assets last year, as well as further impairments of $2.9 billion on downstream operations.

IPIC owns a wide range of energy assets across the world, including Spanish firm Cepsa and Canadian petrochemical maker NOVA Chemicals, and a majority stake in Austrian plastics company Borealis.

But slumping oil prices slashed its revenue by 30 percent last year to $35.8 billion, the fund said.

Another source of financial pressure on IPIC is a deal last year with Malaysian state fund 1MDB, under which IPIC agreed to lend $1 billion to 1MDB and assume payments on $3.5 billion of 1MDB debt, in exchange for assets from the Malaysian fund.

This year 1MDB, the subject of money-laundering probes in at least six countries, defaulted on some of its interest payments and Malaysia's finance ministry took over its remaining assets. IPIC is now claiming about $6.5 billion from the Malaysian side at the London Court of International Arbitration.

Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's said in a note earlier this week that while IPIC's business risk was satisfactory, its financial position was "highly leveraged".

But IPIC said on Thursday its cash position had improved slightly to $5.4 billion at the end of last year from $5.3 billion in 2014, while its net debt decreased to $22.2 billion from $24.6 billion.

To help its assets operate more efficiently as low oil prices reduce the flow of state revenues, the Abu Dhabi government said this week that it would merge IPIC with Mubadala Development Co, another one of its top funds.

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