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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 Dana El Baltaji
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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