By Elizabeth Broomhall
Khadem Al Qubaisi appointed chairman of builder that Aabar is now single biggest shareholder of
Dubai construction giant Arabtec Holding has appointed Aabar Investments' Khadem Al Qubaisi as its new chairman, sources told Arabian Business.
He replaces Ibrahim Belselah, whose resignation has been accepted after just eight months in the position.
Al Qubaisi, who is currently also chairman of Aabar, was one of four executives from the Abu Dhabi investment vehicle recently nominated to Arabtec’s board.
The founder of Arabtec, Riad Kamal, has been voted as vice chairman.
Sovereign fund Aabar raised its stake in Arabtec to 10.45 percent last month, making it the largest shareholder in the company. That move came just weeks after Aabar boosted its holding to 5.3 percent.
Following Aabar's second shareholding increase, Arabtec's CEO Riad Kamal said he did not expect any management changes.
Whether the Aabar stake is “10 percent or 20 or 40 or 50 it’s the same for us,” he told reporters at an Arabtec shareholder meeting, Bloomberg reported.
One can see this creeping takeover of what were Dubai interests by Abu Dhabi gathering pace, this makes Arabtec a quasi-Abu Dhabi government organisation. We are likely to see a lot more of these takeovers by Abu Dhabi as by far the main money-spinner in the UAE.
The level of debt in Dubai, even though large chunks of it have been pushed out to a 5 to 8 year future, is simply colossal and it all has to be repaid from income. For example I shudder to think what Nakheel still owe Arabtec under the 40/60% trade creditor repayment plan!