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Tue 14 Oct 2008 01:19 AM

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UAE's Hydra Properties acquires 47% stake in Asmak

Sulaiman Al-Fahim's investment vehicle buys 47% of UAE-listed fish farmer for $194mn.

UAE developer Hydra Properties said on Monday it has acquired a 47.43 percent stake in Abu Dhabi-listed International Fish Farming Co (Asmak) and plans more acquisitions to grow its portfolio.

The acquisition of 23.7 million shares is valued at about 711 million dirhams ($193.6 million) at Asmak's current share price, Sulaiman Al-Fahim, chief executive of Hydra Properties told a news conference.

"The investment in Asmak is part of our diversification plans. The fishing industry is very integral to the UAE economy and giving a shot in the arm for this crucial sector is our responsibility," said Al-Fahim.

Private developer Hydra Properties owns 20 percent of Ras Al-Khaimah Cement, its first partial acquisition.

"We are definitely looking at more acquisitions to diversify and grow our business. We are looking at any sector that is possible to invest but with good returns," he said.

Al-Fahim said the current market turmoil had no impact on the company's business. "The market in the UAE is stable and growing and there is very good demand. Even prices are stable and we are bullish at least for the next 10 years," he said.

Al-Fahim declined to give the value of the company's projects under development. (Reuters)

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