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Thu 3 Mar 2011 12:29 PM

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Abu Dhabi's General Holding eyes $4bn investments

Government owned company aims to spend on Abu Dhabi's metals, petrochems sector

Abu Dhabi's General Holding eyes $4bn investments
SECTOR INVESTMENT: Abu Dhabi owned General Holding plans to invest up to $4bn in the metals and petrochemical sectors in the next 5 years (Getty Images)

Abu Dhabi government-owned General Holding Corporation (GHC) plans to invest up to AED15bn ($4bn) in the metals and petrochemicals sector over five years as part of a diversification push, a top official said on Wednesday.

GHC Chief Financial Officer Mukhtar Safi also said the firm is planning to tap debt markets through a bond issue in 2012 or 2013 to finance its petrochemical investments. He gave no further details.

"We have invested AED10bn since 2004 and we are looking at investing another AED10bn to AED15bn in the coming five years," Safi told a conference.

Oil rich Abu Dhabi, capital of the UAE and the third largest exporter of oil in the world, is spending billions of dollars investing in industry, tourism and infrastructure to diversify its economy away from oil.

As it sets up more industries, GHC will form partnerships with strategic investors, both local and foreign.

"We have secured some very high-profile foreign partners for joint ventures in metal and petrochemicals. We will execute the projects in the next five to six months," he said, declining to elaborate.

GHC, an industrial conglomerate, owns nine companies in various sectors such as basic metals, construction material and food products. It has privatised two firms - Agthia Group AGTH.AD and Arkan Building Materials Co floating 49 percent of each on the Abu Dhabi stock exchange.

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