Aabar Investments raising its stake in Arabtec Holding Co may signal its intention to take control of the Dubai builder after pulling a $1.74 billion (Dh6.38 billion) bid two years ago, according to ING Investment Management.
Aabar increased its ownership in the UAE's biggest construction company to 5.28 per cent, according to data posted on Dubai's stock market. The shareholding is listed under Aabar Petroleum Investments Co, which in 2008 sold most of its energy assets to Mubadala Development Co, an investment company owned by the Abu Dhabi government.
Emirates Construction Material Co owns a 5.03 per cent stake, the data shows. "It's obvious from an investment size perspective that Aabar will not stop at 5.28 per cent," said Yazan Abdeen, who helps oversee about $250 million as a fund manager at ING in Dubai.
"So it has already acquired more and is in the consolidation phase now. I expect this percentage will increase considerably, which will entitle Aabar for control of Arabtec."
Arabtec has surged 121 per cent this year on speculation investors are accumulating the shares on bets the company will benefit from regional infrastructure spending. That compares with a 28 per cent gain in Dubai's DFM General Index. Arabtec shares rose as much as 5.1 per cent to Dh3.68 yesterday before giving up the gains in Dubai.