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Dubai set for $10bn bond sale

Dubai, April 26, 2009

Dubai is considering at least two dates this year to issue another $10 billion of bonds, a government executive said on Sunday, as the emirate seeks to raise more funds to support state-linked companies.

Dubai launched a $20 billion bond programme in February and issued the first half to the United Arab Emirates central bank.

It has since given more than $5 billion in loans to firms struggling to meet debt and other financial obligations amid a real estate downturn, Nasser Al-Shaikh, Dubai Department of Finance director-general, said in a radio interview last week.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saaed Al-Maktoum, the head of a five-member Dubai government committee responsible for disbursing the funds, said on Sunday the government was considering a 'couple of dates' for a second bond sale, all before the end of the year.

Last week, Shaikh had said Dubai would not reveal the names of the firms receiving support from the first bond proceeds, although the key beneficiaries were real estate companies in which the Dubai government holds some ownership stake.

Asked which companies had received state loans, Sheikh Ahmed, also chairman of Emirates airline, told reporters: 'If I was to name them all we would be here for hours and I wouldn't want to name a few and forget others.'

Investment bank Rothschild has been advising Dubai on the bonds, which come as part of a series of programmes in the UAE to help companies and banks weather a financial crisis that brought to an end a regional economic boom.

Residential real estate prices in Dubai are set to fall almost 40 per cent this year, a Reuters poll showed last month. Dubai, derives only about 3 per cent of its GDP from oil, and has faced pressure from depressed tourist visits, retail sales and trade flows.

The global financial crisis and a collapse in oil prices brought an end to the Gulf region's six-year economic boom, leading to scores of expansion project cancellations and thousands of job cuts.-Reuters




Tags: Dubai | bond sale |

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