June 16, 2020 / 12:19 PM / 18 days ago

Abu Dhabi's ADQ in talks for bank debt - sources

DUBAI, June 16 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi’s ADQ, a state-owned holding company, is in talks with banks for bank debt financing, two sources said.

One of them said that ADQ, formerly known as Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company, was looking to raise a loan of around $3 billion dollars.

ADQ did not respond to a request for comment on the discussions, reported earlier on Tuesday by Bloomberg.

Established in 2018, ADQ manages a portfolio of more than 90 companies in various non-oil sectors of Abu Dhabi’s economy, according to its website.

One of the sources said the transaction was aimed at establishing a core group of relationship banks.

ADQ has been active in the food sector since it announced in March that it acquired a 50% stake in Abu Dhabi-based agriculture firm Al Dahra Holding.

The UAE, which depends on imports for 80%-90% of its food, introduced a law in March to organise strategic food stocks for emergencies, the state news agency WAM reported, amid growing food security concerns due to the coronavirus crisis.

ADQ is currently among the bidders for Jordan’s Al Jazeera Agriculture Company, which produces fresh and frozen chicken for retail and wholesale, eggs, chicks and chicken feed.

It is also close to acquiring Jordan’s Al-Nabil Food Industries, which produces frozen foods.

Oil-rich Abu Dhabi has raised $10 billion in the international debt markets this year and said it plans to continue to assess fundraising opportunities to protect its finances from the impact of low oil prices.

Abu Dhabi’s real gross domestic product is expected to contract by 7.5% this year because of lower oil production and the impact of the new coronavirus outbreak, S&P Global Ratings said last month. (Reporting by Davide Barbuscia and Hadeel Al Sayegh, editing by Louise Heavens)

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