DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Dubai International Capital, an investment company owned by the ruler of this booming Persian Gulf city-state, has acquired a stake in Sony Corp., both companies said Monday.
The purchase is the latest by Middle East investors who have become more aggressive in looking for investment opportunities overseas.
United Arab Emirates-based DIC described its investment in Sony as ''substantial'' in a statement posted on the company's Web site, but did not provide a specific ownership percentage.
Sony spokesman Daichi Yamafuji confirmed DIC's purchase but refused to provide any other details.
''It's the other party that acquired the stake and we decline to discuss any other details such as the number of shares involved,'' he said.
The chief executive of DIC, Sameer Al Ansari, said the investment in Sony, which owns consumer electronics, video game and movie businesses, was ''consistent with our mandate of supporting premier global companies.''
''The combination of Sony's truly global brand, its leadership in product design and its global footprint will spur the business' medium term growth as it capitalizes on positive underlying trends and emerging technologies,'' said Al Ansari in the company's statement.
DIC was established in 2004 and is owned by Dubai-ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The investment company has made several other prominent investments this year, acquiring 9.9 percent of Och-Ziff Capital Management Group, a U.S.-based alternative asset manager, and 3.12 percent of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co., which builds Airbus commercial planes and military aircraft. The firm also holds stakes in DaimlerChrysler AG and U.K. bank HSBC Holdings Plc.
Sovereign funds in the Middle East, like DIC, have been building up their investments overseas recently, many of them on the back of rising oil prices that have brought the region record cash flows. Many companies have welcomed such investments because the funds tend to be stable investors, but some countries like the U.S. have expressed concern that their acquisitions could target sensitive industries with links to national security.