Dubai’s debt plans ‘well received’

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By ARIF SHARIF and MAHER CHMAYTELLI  www.businessday.co.za

ONE of the biggest lenders to the state-owned holding company Dubai World said yesterday that Dubai World’s $24,8bn debt restructure plans had been welcomed by creditors.

Dubai metro
Dubai metro

“The offer has been well received by the financial institutions, contractors and investors,” Emirates NBD chairman Ahmed bin Humaid Al Tayer said yesterday at a conference in Ajman — one of the seven sheikhdoms that make up the United Arab Emirates. Dubai World’s proposal considered “ the best interests of everybody” and the talks were now in the final stages, he said. Emirates NBD is 56%-owned by Dubai’s government.

Dubai World, one of three principal state-owned holding companies, and its property unit, Nakheel , were seeking to renegotiate borrowings after the global crisis battered Dubai’s real estate market leaving the emirate’s companies unable to raise new debt.

Dubai World asked creditors on March 25 to roll outstanding debt into two new loans with five- year and eight-year maturities.

The company’s creditors include Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC Holdings . HSBC’s head of investment banking, Stuart Gulliver, said last month he was “comfortable” with the plan while RBS CEO Stephen Hester said the proposal was “positive”.

Lenders will be paid their principal in full, although the interest rate on the loans was still being negotiated with the creditor banks, according to Dubai World chief restructuring officer Aidan Birkett. Bloomberg

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