Business | Markets

Investors show trust in Dubai

Al Hilal Bank releases first installment of $500m to Dubai with rest to follow

  • By Himendra Mohan Kumar, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 November 27, 2009
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Megan Hirons Mahon/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The Dubai Government successfully raised a further $5 billion from two Abu Dhabi banks on Wednesday as part of its $20 billion long-term bond programme launched at the beginning of 2009.

Mohammad J. Berro, Chief Executive of Al Hilal Bank, said $500 million was released to the Dubai government by Al Hilal Bank on Wednesday. "The remainder will follow," he added.

The $5 billion tranche was fully subscribed equally by National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Al Hilal Bank.

"We have subscribed to sukuk worth $2.5 billion because Dubai has come strongly out of the financial crisis," Berro told Gulf News. "The tenure is five years and the coupon rate is four per cent, which is a good return," Berro added.

Concern

However, there is some concern among investors after Dubai's Department of Finance asked for a ‘standstill' until May 30 on all financing to Dubai World and its property unit Nakheel, which is due to pay back $4 billion on an Islamic bond on Dec-ember 14.

"The market expects Dubai to raise another $5 billion soon which will take care of some of Dubai's debt and lift the confidence of the investors," said Tariq Qaqish, fund manager with Al Mal Capital. In February, Dubai raised $10 billion through the first tranche of the bond, which was entirely subscribed by the UAE Central Bank.

DP World unaffected

International port operator DP World and its debt are not included in the restructuring of Dubai World, the Dubai Government said yesterday, after announcing it will seek a debt delay for its two flagship firms.

On Wednesday, the government said it will ask creditors of Dubai World and property group Nakheel to agree to a debt ‘standstill' as it restructures the Dubai World group.

"The Government of Dubai has confirmed that DP World and its debt are not included in the restructuring process for Dubai World," a statement said.

Analysts said excluding DP World may be an attempt to shelter the profit-making company and ease shareholder fears it will could be used to sustain less healthy companies.

DP World in October reported a six per cent fall in third-quarter container volumes and said its 2009 results would be in line with market expectations

Dubai World is one of the emirate's three big holding firms, along with Dubai Holding and Investment Corporation of Dubai.

In addition to Nakheel, its affiliates include DP World and Istithmar, an investment company with a portfolio of over 50 firms in the financial services, consumer, industrial and property sectors.

Global equities decline

Global stock markets fell sharply Thursday on concerns about Dubai debt and tighter lending conditions in China, analysts said.

London shed 1.95 per cent to 5,260.05 in mid-afternoon deals.

Elsewhere, Frankfurt sank 1.91 per cent to 5,692.06 and Paris plunged 2.04 per cent to 3,730.77.

In Asia, Shanghai nosedived 3.62 per cent, Tokyo fell 0.62 per cent and Hong Kong closed 1.78 per cent lower.

Chinese shares were also hit by the prospect of tighter banking rules and worries about monetary policy next year.

New York markets were closed yesterday for the Thanksgiving Day holiday in the US.

"We have two major factors weighing on equities and other risk markets: Dubai's call for a moratorium on its debt repayment to May and more stringent capital adequacy requirements for Chinese banks," David Morrison, an analyst at financial betting firm GFT, said.

With inputs from agencies

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