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Aabar to discuss expanding its debt as maturities near


Aabar Investments will discuss the possibility of raising more debt at a board meeting tomorrow. Aabar would use the meeting to “consider refinancing opportunities for existing indebtedness … and the company’s future projects and investment opportunities”, the company said in a statement to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. One possibility is that Aabar, an investment vehicle controlled by the Abu Dhabi Government, may consider increasing its recent US$800 million (Dh2.93 billion) loan to $2bn. The company last month obtained a three-year, $800m club loan for general corporate purposes. “Banks are working on upsizing the recent loan to $2bn that could be used for paying maturing loans and probably investments,” Reuters quoted an unnamed banker as saying. The loan would be finalised “within weeks”, another banker said.  National Bank of Abu Dhabi was the lead arranger of the original $800m loan. If Aabar does take on the loan, it will be the fourth time in seven months that the company has acquired additional financing. With a 9.1 per cent stake, Aabar is the largest shareholder in the German car maker Daimler. It also owns 32 per cent of the space tourism venture Virgin Galactic. According to Aabar’s consolidated financial statement, the company had total financial liabilities of Dh15bn at the end of December. Of that, Dh10.7bn was raised to finance Aabar’s stake in Daimler, with Dh4.4bn coming due this year. The rest is maturing in 2012.


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