x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Investors unnerved by lawsuit against Taqa

But advice from analysts is to look past the headlines.

Investors in Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, known as Taqa, were unnerved as they digested the news yesterday that the company was facing a Dh1.68bn lawsuit filed in a US court by its former chief executive. The company's stock ended down 2.5 per cent at Dh1.17, after retreating as much as 4.1 per cent earlier in the day. Peter Barker-Homek was known for his aggressive - some say mismatched - acquisitions while at Taqa. Mr Barker-Homek alleges he was forced out last October "under severe duress" after speaking out against "fraudulent and unethical practices".

Taqa has denied the charges, saying it will "vigorously defend itself" against the "spurious allegations." Analysts said investors should look past the headlines when considering the company's outlook. "It's more of a one-time blip," said Vishal Shah, an analyst at Global Investment House in Kuwait. Taqa's stock has traded in a range of between Dh1 and Dh1.30 since November last year, when the company said it would change strategy and focus on organic growth rather than more expensive acquisitions.