Dubai builder Arabtec on Sunday said its unit won a Dhs222 million ($60.44 million) construction contract from top shareholder Aabar Investments to build a residential development in Abu Dhabi.
Arabtec, in which state-owned investment fund Aabar owns a 10.45 per cent 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 per cent in April after it boosted its holding to 5.3 per cent 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-per cent 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 UAE 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 Aabar.