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Dubai ‘needs credit rating’

Dubai ‘needs credit rating’

The appetite for a first Dubai bond since the debt shock is seen as strong, but a sovereign credit rating would do the emirate a power of good, according to experts.

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September 26, 2010 12:18 by



Dubai’s plan to issue up to $1 billion in sovereign bonds could help to revive bond market activity in the emirate, but investors say securing a credit rating remains crucial for wider investor appeal.

Expected as early as this week, the emirate’s first government debt sale since the bursting of its real estate bubble and subsequent debt crisis last year could be a step towards rehabilitating its image in the eyes of international investors.

“It has to be at a decent price. But it will find an audience, that’s for sure,” said Haissam Arabi, chief executive of Dubai-based Gulfmena Alternative Investments.

Banking sources told Reuters that the government was planning to issue up to $1 billion in bonds with a tenor of up to seven years.

Dubai’s last sovereign bond sale was launched last October — barely a month before its flagship conglomerate Dubai World shocked investors by calling for a standstill on its debt. The company eventually asked for a standstill on $26 billion.

But since then, Dubai World has secured near-unanimous creditor approval for its debt restructuring plans, while property subsidiary Nakheel is expected to complete its debt workout plan by year-end.

“The hard work has been sorting out Nakheel and Dubai World, and investors are more positive on Dubai because of its strong relationship to the rest of the UAE and as the legacy issues have been or are being addressed,” said Aviva fund manager Jeremy Brewin in London. “I am keen on owning Dubai debt.”



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