Aabar in $249m capital hike

Abu Dhabi's Aabar Investments <AABAR.AD> raised its capital by Dh912.8 million ($248.6 million) through bonus shares and conversion of convertible bonds as the company positions itself for more purchases and paying off debt.

Aabar, which has stakes in Daimler and Virgin Galactic, increased its capital to 4.040 billion dirhams, it said in a statement on Tuesday to the Abu Dhabi Securities Market.

The increase was a result of issuance of 312.8 million bonus shares and 600 million convertible bonds, the statement said without giving details.

Aabar's share capital stood at 3.128 billion dirhams ending March 2010, according to its financial statement.

"They (Aabar) have a lot of convertible bonds issued to International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC). They must have some schedule as to how they do the conversion," said Deepak Tolani, analyst at Al Mal Capital.

IPIC, wholly-owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, is the majority shareholder in Abu Dhabi-listed Aabar which is the emirate's fastest growing investment vehicle.

In April, Aabar said it planed to issue convertible bonds worth Dh7.346 billion ($2 billion) to IPIC. Last year, it issued 6.6 billion dirhams convertible bonds to IPIC of which Dh2.2 billion were converted.

In March, Aabar said its assets have grown to $10 billion from $625 million prior to its acquisition by IPIC.

Last week Aabar's board met to consider refinancing opportunities for existing debt and new investment opportunities. Details of the outcome are not known.

Aabar shares were up 1.26 per cent at 0748 GMT.