British luxury car maker Aston Martin, which is controlled by Kuwait's Investment Dar, plans to raise Dh6.98 billion (US1.9bn) by selling shares in a new Middle Eastern firm. The firm might later be listed, which the chief executive says will tap into growth in the booming region. Aston Martin would own a majority stake in the new company, with the rest of the shares to be sold to investors in the Gulf in a private placement worth 500 million dinars (Dh6.87bn), chief executive Ulrich Bez said.
The firm, which will revamp Aston's operations in the fast-growing Gulf, could be listed after three years depending on market regulations, added Amr Abou El-Seoud, executive vice-president of Investment Dar. "It's a shareholding company which will be listed in one of more of the Gulf stock exchanges." Mr Bez said the new company was part of efforts to expand operations in the Gulf, where economies are benefiting from high oil prices, to offset weaker markets such as the United States or Europe which are being hit harder by a global financial crisis. * Reuters