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Aabar of Abu Dhabi Raises Shareholding in Arabtec to 5.28%

Aabar Investments PJSC, an Abu Dhabi government-controlled company, raised its stake in Arabtec Holding Co. to 5.28 percent, according to data posted on Dubai’s stock exchange.

The shareholding is listed under Aabar Petroleum Investments Co., which in 2008 sold its energy assets to Mubadala Development Co., an investment company owned by the Abu Dhabi government. Arabtec Chief Financial Officer Ziad Makhzoumi couldn’t be reached on his mobile telephone and Aabar officials were not immediately available for comment.

Arabtec, the biggest construction company by market value in the United Arab Emirates, has surged 120 percent this year on speculation investors are accumulating the stock amid bets it will benefit from regional infrastructure spending. That compares with a 30 percent gain in Dubai’s DFM General Index.

A unit of Arabtec, a builder of the world’s tallest tower in Dubai, in January won a 25-month contract valued at 561 million dirhams ($153 million) to carry out expansion at Dubai International Airport. One of its units this year also won contracts in Abu Dhabi valued at 256 million dirhams.

Aabar Investments in 2010 canceled a plan to buy most of Arabtec for an estimated $1.74 billion. Arabtec and Aabar said they planned instead a “strategic partnership.” Aabar had offered to buy 70 percent of Arabtec through the purchase of bonds that would be exchanged for shares at 2.3 dirhams.

Arabtec shares declined 2 percent to 3.5 dirhams today, giving the company a market value of 5.23 billion dirhams.

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