Abu Dhabi energy fund IPIC repays $2 bln acquisition loan -sources

Reuters

By Stanley Carvalho and Dinesh Nair

ABU DHABI, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi's state-owned fundInternational Petroleum Investment Co has repaid in full a $2billion loan that its unit took out in 2011 to finance thepurchase of a stake in Malaysian bank RHB Capital,banking sources aware of the matter said.

The financing for the acquisition was provided by the sellerof the stake, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB); theasset sale was widely seen as a means to shore up the capitalbase of the lender at the time.

IPIC's majority-owned unit Aabar Investments agreed in 2011to pay 10.80 ringgit per share for ADCB's 25 percent stake inRHB in a $1.9 billion deal. The valuation offered by Aabareffectively stalled a consolidation in Malaysia's bankingsector. ADCB booked a $357 million gain from the stake sale.

In its third-quarter earnings statement on Wednesday, ADCB,majority-owned by the state, said its customer loans andadvances on Sept. 30 declined 2 percent, mainly because of therepayment of a $2 billion loan in late September. It did notspecify the name of the entity which repaid the loan.

"This has a negligible impact on our profitability butsignificantly reduces our concentration exposure. In the absenceof this repayment, the bank's loan book grew by 4.8 billiondirhams (3.7 percent) in the nine-month period," ADCB said inthe statement.

A bank spokesman was not available to comment on therepayment when contacted by Reuters. IPIC declined to comment.

ADCB posted a 47 percent rise in third-quarter net profitthat handily beat analysts' forecasts. Its shares rose 1 percenton the Abu Dhabi bourse on Thursday.

IPIC has interests in a number of European-based companies,including Spain's CEPSA and Austrian oil group OMV.Through Aabar, it also owns a stake in Italian bank Unicredit. Its portfolio comprises more than 15 investmentsacross Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia.

The fund, which focuses mainly on energy-relatedinvestments, said in May that it expected to receive $4 billionin cash for a crude oil pipeline that it built in the Gulfstate, enabling it to repay some upcoming debt maturities.

ADCB's loans totalled 120.2 billion dirhams at the end ofSeptember while its deposits edged up 3 per cent to 112.0billion dirhams. For many other United Arab Emirates banks,deposits now exceed loans by substantial margins. (Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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