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Another Abu Dhabi Fund Seeks Out Credit Ratings

ADAM SCHRECK

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) ¿ Another Abu Dhabi state investment fund has sought out credit ratings, a rare step toward greater transparency that could make buyout financing easier to get.

The ratings issued Monday to International Petroleum Investment Co. by the three leading rating agencies are the same as the high investment-grade sovereign ratings held by the government of Abu Dhabi.

IPIC Managing Director Khadem al-Qubaisi said the move will expand the company's funding options for new and existing projects.

"While we have no immediate plans to raise external capital, the ratings will facilitate future engagement with the debt capital markets if IPIC wishes to pursue this," al-Qubaisi said in a statement.

It could also help silence critics who argue that sovereign wealth investments ought to be less opaque about their dealings on the international stage. Al-Qubaisi said the ratings were a means of "reinforcing strong corporate governance principles and enhancing transparency."

IPIC is fully owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, the largest of the seven semiautonomous city-states comprising the UAE and holder of most of the Persian Gulf country's vast oil wealth. Abu Dhabi is the federation's capital.
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