Aabar Investments reduced its holdings in the German car maker Daimler after the value of its investment soared, it emerged yesterday.
Aabar cuts investment in Daimler shares
The Abu Dhabi company injected €1.95 billion (Dh9.41bn) into Daimler at the height of the global financial crisis in March 2009, taking a 9 per cent stake.
Since then, Daimler's shares have more than doubled in value as affluent buyers have snapped-up luxury models such as Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes's global sales in the first quarter were up 11 per cent compared with the same period last year.
"Following up on our record sales last year, we are also off to a highly successful start in 2012," said Joachim Schmidt, the executive vice president at Mercedes and Daimler's global head of sales and marketing.
Aabar's stake was reduced to 3.1 per cent in February, when it lent the shares to unidentified third parties.
"In February 2012, Aabar notified us that the number of Daimler shares it physically owned had decreased to approximately 32.7 million, equivalent to a shareholding of 3.07 per cent," Daimler said in its annual report.
It was reported yesterday by Reuters and German magazine that Aabar was considering a complete exit from the investment.
Aabar did not respond to requests for comment on the report.
The scaling down of the stake comes after the Abu Dhabi Government has engaged in a wide ranging review of its assets and investments, said Tommy Trask, a corporate analyst at the credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's.
"If there's something that doesn't fit with the overall strategy ... it's sold," he said.
Daimler's shares fell 2.7 per cent yesterday in Frankfurt to €40.885 each after reports surfaced that the Abu Dhabi company might be preparing to sell its remaining shares. Aabar's initial investment was made at a price of €20.27 per share.
"We are not aware of any intention of Aabar to reduce its stake and have not had talks with them about that," said a spokesman for Daimler.