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Abu Dhabi makes big waves

Abu Dhabi Inc is on the march. While the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority buys assets on behalf of the government in the capital markets, two other investment vehicles are charged with helping make the emirate one of the most developed economies in the world through strategic direct investments. They are the International Petroleum Investment Company and Mubadala Development Company.

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Ipic was established in 1984 to invest in the hydrocarbons and related sectors outside Abu Dhabi. Mubadala was formed in 2002 and invests in a wide range of sectors, including industry, telecoms, technology, healthcare, energy and utilities.

Both are state-owned but are run on commercial principles. Mubadala, for example, is not only there to invest but also to develop specifically sustainable opportunities for and in Abu Dhabi. Both vehicles seek to take stakes in companies or on-the-ground projects. Ipic, for example, has stakes in Korea’s Hyundai Oilbank (50%), Austria’s öMV (17.6%) and Denmark’s Borealis (65%), among others. Mubadala’s investments include Ferrari (5%), Abu Dhabi Ship Building (40%) and Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (100%).

“An exit decision will be triggered when we reckon the investment has reached a level of maturity when no more commercial and strategic value can be extracted from it”
Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak

One way Mubadala invests is through partnerships. In 2004, for example, it joined forces with Germany’s VW group and Saudi Arabia’s Olayan Group to buy LeasePlan, the world’s biggest vehicle management and leasing provider.

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