Abu Dhabi's ATIC sees profit in 2015, UAE plant on hold - CEO

ABU DHABI, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi's Advanced Technology Investment Co (ATIC) expects to earn its first profit by 2015 as it scales up operations overseas, but plans to set up a chip manufacturing facility at home remain on hold, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

ATIC, owned by Abu Dhabi's official investment fund Mubadala and founded in 2008, is part of the emirate's drive to diversify its economy away from oil into technology sectors such as semiconductors.

The company owns unlisted Global Foundries, which has chip manufacturing facilities in Singapore, Germany and New York. Early this year, Global Foundries said it would invest more than $3 billion to fund expansion of its facilities.

``Profit in the industry is driven by scale and in the next two to three years, by 2015 we would make profits,'' Ibrahim Ajami told reporters.

Last year ATIC put on hold plans to build a semiconductor fabrication plant in Abu Dhabi because of tough market conditions due to a faltering global economy.

``We are still assessing the timing, the demand equation,'' Ajami said, adding that no date had been set to build the Abu Dhabi plant.

Global Foundries, launched in 2009 and now the world's second largest chip foundry in terms of revenue, will conduct capital spending of about $3.5 billion this year, below the $5 billion which it spent last year, said Global Foundries chief executive Ajit Manocha. He declined to give a figure for 2013.

Revenue in the first nine months of this year grew 34 percent from a year earlier, while third-quarter revenue was up 29 per cent, he said without citing specific figures.

Manocha said he was bullish about the short term in the fast-changing industry. ``We will definitely remain on the same trajectory of growth and we are well-positioned for the next three years,'' he said.

(Reporting by Stanley Carvalho Editing by Andrew Torchia and Mark Potter)