(Adds details, background)
DUBAI, APRIL 22 - Dubai builder Arabtec on Sunday
said its unit won a 222 million dirhams ($60.44 million)
construction contract from top shareholder Aabar Investments to
build a residential development in the oil-rich emirate of Abu
Arabtec, in which state-owned investment fund Aabar owns a
10.45 percent stake, said the contract to build a tower of 229
apartments would take 22 months to complete.
Abu Dhabi sovereign fund Aabar, which owns stakes in
high-profile names such as German carmaker Daimler,
commodities trader Glencore and Italy's UniCredit
, doubled its Arabtec stake to 10.45 percent in April
after it boosted its holding to 5.3 percent in early March.
Analysts have said the fund may increase the stake further
and some of Aabar's top executives were nominated to the board
of Arabtec this month, in a sign of the fund's growing influence
in the Dubai builder.
Aabar, which was unsuccessful in buying a 70-percent stake
worth $1.7 billion in Arabtec two years ago, is involved in some
master developments across Abu Dhabi. It has cut about a third
of its staff amid a continuing property downturn.
Some Abu Dhabi developers have been forced to cancel
projects and restructure debts.
Arabtec, the largest builder in the United Arab Emirates by
market value, reported a three-fold rise in fourth-quarter net
profit last month.
Its shares have more than doubled in value this year on the
Dubai bourse, riding on key contract wins and stake purchase by
($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirhams)
(Reporting by Dinesh Nair; Editing by Matt Smith)