Page last updated at 09:22 GMT, Monday, 23 March 2009

Abu Dhabi fund invests in Daimler

Daimler truck, corporate image
Daimler makes Mercedes and is also the world's biggest truck maker

Daimler, which makes Mercedes Benz cars, has sold a 9.1% stake to an Abu Dhabi state investment fund.

The fund, Aabar Investments, will invest 1.95bn euros (1.83bn;$2.7bn), becoming the biggest shareholder.

The move comes after Daimler reported a net loss of 1.53bn euros in final quarter of 2008 as the global downturn hit demand for luxury cars and trucks.

It will strengthen Daimler's finances and make it less vulnerable to unwanted takeover attempts.

Aabar's chairman Khadem Al Qubaisi said that Daimler was an iconic brand and had an excellent reputation.

Daimler and Aabar said they would co-operate on the development of electric vehicles and new materials for auto production as well as establish a centre to train young people in Abu Dhabi for the auto industry.

"We are delighted to welcome Aabar as a new major shareholder that is supportive of our corporate strategy," said Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche.

Investors welcomed the news, with Daimler shares gaining 6.3% to 22.67 euros on the Frankfurt stock exchange.

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