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02 December 2023

Abu Dhabi's Senaat mulls IPO for unit

In the past five years, Senaat has invested Dh16 billion in Abu Dhabi.

By Reuters

Abu Dhabi's General Holding Corp (Senaat), a major state-owned investor in the emirate's industrial sector, has shelved plans to go public but instead is considering options to sell shares in one of its subsidiaries, its chairman said.

State-owned Senaat had in the past said it planned to go public. It has taken two of its subsidiaries public, food and beverage company Agthia and building materials firm Arkaan, both listed in Abu Dhabi.

"We will do an IPO of a subsidiary this year, not Senaat," Hussain Al Nowais told Reuters on the sidelines of a banking forum, declining to name the firm. "Arkaan and Agthia are driving us to evaluate the option for one more of our companies."

Senaat plans to invest Dh5 billion ($1.4 billion) in industry over the next two years as Abu Dhabi diversifies its economy away from oil, he told the forum earlier. In the past five years, it invested Dh16 billion in Abu Dhabi.

The company will focus on basic downstream industries whose products can be used locally, such as pipe manufacturing, Nowais said.

Abu Dhabi aims for industry to contribute 25 per cent of its gross domestic product by 2030. Currently, industry accounts for 15 per cent.

"We are confident 10 per cent more will be achieved, although there are challenges," Nowais said.

Senaat's subsidiary National Petroleum Construction Co. (NPCC) is in talks to acquire a mid-size Indian or European company this year, he added without elaborating.

NPCC also plans to expand into markets such as Malaysia and Indonesia.