[MIDDLE EAST] General Electric in $8bn Abu Dhabi investment

General Electric is joining forces with Abu Dhabi investment firm Mubadala Development to provide $8 billion of finance in the Middle East and Africa. The move is part of plans by the US industrial conglomerate, which covers jet engines to healthcare and media, to seek out higher growth areas.

The companies are set to establish projects in clean energy and water as well as oil and gas. Longer term, Mubadala aims to be one of General Electric's major shareholders.

Among the projects the two firms are set to work on is a clean energy technology centre in a new city, Masdar City, that intends to be carbon neutral.

General Electric has been targeting growth in the Middle East and last year the firm saw revenue from the region increase by 50% on the year before to $5 bn.

"What this joint venture allows us to do is get good geographic and asset spread of risk, but more importantly it allows us to reallocate to higher-return opportunities in commercial finance," said General Electric's chief executive Jeff Immelt.

General Electric recently reported a 6% fall in second-quarter profits as a result of the US economic slowdown and cooling consumer spending.

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