x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Mubadala and GE partnership 'alive' and set to grow

Mubadala, the strategic investment arm of the Abu Dhabi Government, already owns more than 76 million shares in US company General Electric and that figure could be set to grow "as market conditions allow", officials said.

Mubadala will continue to increase its stake in General Electric "as market conditions allow," said a top official of the Abu DHabi Government's strategic investment company.

"You never attain massive positions at once," said Mubadala's chief operating officer, Waleed al Mokarrab al Muhairi. "As market conditions allow, we increase our stake. We continue learning about what may or may not be a good fit for Mubadala."

The press briefing from Mubadala and GE last night at Yas Island follows a period of relative quiet from the two companies since the 2008 announcement of their partnership, which now includes Mubadala's status as GE's 14th largest shareholder (with 0.7 per cent of the US firm's stock), a commercial finance joint venture between Mubadala and GE Capital, and a regional infrastructure investment fund with a third company, Credit Suisse.

"The partnership is alive," said Jeff Barnes, GE's chief learning officer. GE's regional leadership welcomed an increase in Mubadala's holdings.

"We hope that they as well as others buy a lot more shares of GE," said Nabil Habayeb, CEO of GE Middle East and Africa.

On Friday, GE increased its dividend payout for the second time this year, a 17 per cent increase from 12 cents a share to 14 cents a share.

The partnership between the two companies, which also includes a planned "Ecomagination Centre" in Masdar City as well as aviation maintenance and repair unit with Mubadala's Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies, could grow to encompass other sectors in which GE is already involved, said Mr al Muhairi.

"I would not be surprised if our partnership deepens into new business lines," he said. "It just gets deeper and deeper."

ayee@thenational.ae