Abu Dhabi's state-owned fund Aabar Investments has nearly doubled its stake in Arabtec to 10.45 per cent, a bourse filing showed on Tuesday, making it the largest shareholder in the Dubai builder and boosting its influence.
Sovereign fund Aabar, which owns stakes in high-profile names such as German carmaker Daimler, commodities trader Glencore and Italy's UniCredit, raised its Arabtec stake to 10.45 per cent just weeks after it boosted its holding to 5.3 per cent in early March.
Shares in Arabtec - which Aabar unsuccessfully tried to buy two years ago in a $1.7 billion deal for a 70-per cent stake -- jumped 13.3 per cent on the Dubai bourse. The stock is up 89 per cent year-to-date.
The latest stake increase was made through unit, Aabar Real Estate, the filing showed.
"Aabar as the largest shareholder in the company could try to influence the management of the company and for the coming board meetings. It may try to materialise this increased stake in the shareholder structure," said Sebastien Henin, portfolio manager at The National Investor in Abu Dhabi.
"Now, there is speculation that they could increase their stake further," Henin added.
Last month, Arabtec's chief financial officer said the firm had no plans to renew talks with Aabar about taking a stake because its funding needs had eased.
Arabtec, the largest builder in the United Arab Emirates by market value, saw a three-fold rise in fourth-quarter net profit last month.
Recently, the firm was awarded a $153 million contract for the expansion of the Dubai International Airport and also won three contracts in neighbouring Abu Dhabi for 256 million dirhams.
Arabtec has a joint venture in Saudi Arabia with the Saudi Binladin Group and Prime International Group Services. Of its current backlog of Dh14 billion ($3.8 billion), 5.5 billion is in Saudi Arabia.