Arabtec's new chief says Aabar not seeking stake increase

DUBAI, March 3 Sat Mar 2, 2013 11:49pm EST

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DUBAI, March 3 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi investment fund Aabar has not sought to increase its 22-percent stake in Dubai-based contractor Arabtec, the builder's newly-appointed chief executive said on Sunday.

Arabtec replaced its founder and Chief Executive Riad Kamal last week in a major shakeup driven by the state-owned investment fund. It also revealed plans to raise $1.8 billion through a rights issue and convertible bond to finance growth.

"Aabar's stake is supportive to Arabtec but they have not applied for an increase of their stake," Hasan Abdulla Ismaik said in comments to Abu Dhabi TV, which were quoted on state news agency WAM.

Aabar, which owns in companies such as commodities trader Glencore and Italian bank UniCredit, has been exerting its influence on Arabtec since it started buying shares last year.

Ismaik was also quoted saying Arabtec wants to preserve its liquidity and does not want to borrow more and increase its debt.

The company will branch into the infrastructure sector in addition to oil and gas to boost its chances of getting new projects in the Gulf region, Ismaik said. (Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Dinesh Nair)

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