x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Ipic raises stake in Austria's OMV

Ipic spends Dh1.59 billion to increase stake in the Austrian oil company OMV.

Abu Dhabi has raised its stake in the Austrian oil company OMV to nearly one quarter.

The International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic) spent €327 million (Dh1.59 billion) to increase its position in the Vienna-based producer from 20.4 to 24.9 per cent, OMV said yesterday.

The investment follows Ipic's decision this year to buy the shares that it did not already own of Cepsa, Spain's second-biggest oil company. Like OMV, Cepsa owns older refineries throughout Europe.

"They are definitely being quite opportunistic here and thinking they could get some good basic assets," said Samuel Ciszuk, the regional energy analyst at IHS Global Insight in London. "They have a long-term view and they can get them at a good price right now."

Shares of OMV fell slightly to €21.82.

OMV, which lost a tenth of its global oil output during the Libyan civil war, has announced plans to unload €1bn worth of refining and marketing assets in the next three years.

Building up stakes in European companies allows Ipic, which is owned by the Abu Dhabi Government, to take advantage of their experience and technology, as well as to secure extra refining capabilities for its crude.

"They have their long-term strategy to build domestic know-how," said Mr Ciszuk.

OMV and Ipic are co-owners of Borealis, an Austrian petrochemicals company. Borealis, in turn, channels its technical and marketing expertise to Borouge, the Abu Dhabi polymers company it co-owns with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.