Friday 19 July 2019
 
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PRIVATISATION LIKELY FOR 7 FIRMS

Abu Dhabi moves airports, power companies to new entity

ABU DHABI, June 1, 2019

Abu Dhabi has moved seven state-owned firms - with operations ranging from airports and ports to power supply - to a new development holding company to make it easier for them to raise debt and improve services, reported Reuters, citing sources.
 
The new entity, Abu Dhabi Development Holding Company (ADDHC) was set up last year to monitor and guide development service companies in the UAE capital. 
 
It is being led by Mohamed Hassan Al Suwaidi, a former executive of Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala, and the seven firms could eventually be privatised, stated the sources.
 
The holding company's portfolio will include Abu Dhabi Airports, Abu Dhabi Ports, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Abu Dhabi Media, Abu Dhabi Power Company, Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi, and Abu Dhabi Health Services Co, they added.
 
"The holding company will allow the firms to operate at arm's length," a source familiar with Abu Dhabi's plans said.
 
It will be able to raise debt for its units, who can also raise debt themselves rather than through the department of finance, separating them from the emirate's own debt plans.
 
Oil-rich Abu Dhabi, rated AA by S&P and Fitch and Aa2 by Moody's, issued its last international bonds in 2017, raising $10 billion. A rise in oil prices last year meant the emirate had no urgent need to borrow further, said the Reuters report.
 
Abu Dhabi has seen some of its largest firms merge in the last two years in response to an earlier oil price slump, it added.



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