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Dubai’s debt: An unsolved mystery

Dubai’s debt: An unsolved mystery

EFG-Hermes says its $84.7 billion, but admits Dubai’s total debt may be significantly higher.

August 24, 2009 1:32 by

EFG-Hermes claims that it did not account for any of the government’s bilateral debt; and due to a lack of transparency in a number of Dubai Inc. companies, including Limitless and Istithmar, the bank was unable to calculate the government’s overall debt accurately.

“The primary risk to our estimate lies in the lack of disclosure on bilateral lending across the board and the lack of information on debt held by key Dubai Government organizations,” said Fahd Iqbal, an analyst at EFG-Hermes.

Some estimates have placed the emirate’s debt as high as $160 billion, although, like EFG-Hermes’s report, the estimates are unconfirmed due to a lack of information.

Meanwhile, some government-owned companies are restructuring in a bid to tackle the challenges brought on by the global economic crisis and to help boost the local economy. Dubai Holding announced its plans to create four categories out of its seven existing verticals last week; on Saturday, it said it had successful created two verticals: property and business parks.

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  1. Stephen Gaye on August 29, 2009 11:32 am

    Look. Dubai could get itself out of debt in an instant. It has money, The ruler could sell his yacht and some of his inernational homes (loch ness, scotland). All this talk of Dubai going down the tubes is something that the government is ALLOWING.. Wake up you Nationals; Dubai is fading from the international stage, do you want that? Or just put your tribal issues aside, and let Abu Dhabi buy it. People really have no sympathy for all of this bellyaching.

  2. Carolyn Miller on September 11, 2009 11:08 pm

    For once as a financial analyst I am going to speak like a layman, for the laymen of Dubai. Thousands of people that were affected by this crisis and, thousands of people that continue to be affected by local sponsor issues with no recourse/justice get thrown in jail just because their rent check bounces. One has to pay a year’s rent upfront in Dubai, and during the same year you get laid off or something they cash your post dated check, it bounces and when you are about to leave the country you get stopped at immigration and thrown in jail. Now I would I be cruel to expect and want to see DUBAI be given the same medicine?? hell yeah! This is dedicated to the poor souls rotting Dubai prisons – for no fault of theirs!! Post dated check system, and retained by Dubai for their selfish, self-protection–now being bounced around on them.


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