February 14, 2019 / 6:20 AM / 9 days ago

Air Arabia suffers $166 mln loss in 2018 amid Abraaj-related impairments

DUBAI, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Air Arabia said on Thursday it suffered a loss of 609.5 million dirhams ($166 million) in 2018, hit by impairments linked to its exposure to collapsed private equity firm Abraaj.

The carrier had posted a net profit of 630.6 million dirhams in the same period a year ago.

Air Arabia faced impairment charges of 1.13 billon dirhams mainly on its overall exposure to Abraaj-related investments.

Dubai-based Abraaj was the largest buyout fund in the Middle East and North Africa until it collapsed last year in the aftermath of a row with investors, including the Gates Foundation, over the usage of their money in a $1 billion healthcare fund.

Abraaj’s liquidators are in the process of determining the value of the company’s assets to settle liabilities, Air Arabia said.

The carrier said last month that it has begun legal proceedings against Abraaj founder Arif Naqvi in a court in Sharjah..

Reporting by Saeed Azhar, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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