Saturday, May 11, 2013
Dubai Group Restructuring Lifts Debt Cloud
Fri., May 10, 2013
Dubai Group, an investment company owned by Dubai's ruler, has agreed to a $10 billion debt restructuring with its main bank creditors after three years of talks, potentially lifting a cloud of uncertainty that has engulfed the emirate since the financial crisis, The Wall Street Journal reported. If it goes through as expected, the restructuring will be a major step in the broader reorganization of Dubai's government companies in the wake of the financial crisis, analysts say. Under its terms, Dubai Group would get up to 12 years to repay its banks as it tries to sell assets and generate cash, according to a person familiar with the talks. The deal covers $6 billion of bank debt and a further $4 billion that the company owes to its parent firm, called Dubai Holding. The banks involved include Citigroup Inc., a unit of France's Natixis, and local lenders Emirates NBD, Mashreqbank and First Gulf Bank, among others. Representatives for the banks couldn't immediately be reached for comment. The terms weren't disclosed. Under a previous settlement with other banks, Dubai Group paid 18.5 cents on the dollar. Dubai Group is part of a complex web of state-linked firms that ran into difficulty paying their debts when the global economy sputtered after the financial crisis and the tiny emirate's property bubble burst. Dubai was forced to borrow $20 billion from its wealthier neighbor, Abu Dhabi, in 2009.