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It’s crunch time
The director general of Dubai’s department of finance has said Dubai World, not the government, may sell assets globally to help cope with its debts.
December 7, 2009 2:06 by Dana El Baltaji
Yet another Dubai official has separated the Dubai government from Dubai World’s hefty debts. Dubai’s director general of the department of finance told Al Jazeera TV that the Dubai government will not sell any of its assets, locally or globally, to help Dubai World restructure and cope with its debt.
Abdulrahman al-Saleh added that investors are confusing Dubai government’s assets with Dubai World’s.
“Part of obtaining finance is selling assets … belonging to the company and not the government,” he said. “There is confusion in the media that the government plans to sell assets … the company has foreign investments and real estate investments abroad. There is nothing to prevent selling these assets.”
Al-Saleh added: “The main goal of the restructuring of Dubai World is to guarantee its continuation in a new framework.” Although he insists it’s too soon to talk about the conglomerate’s strategy.
Since government-owned conglomerate Dubai World announced in November it will ask creditors for a debt standstill for its $26 billion debt, investors have associated the company’s financial troubles with the emirate’s government.
General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, the chief of Dubai Police, said on November 30 that the “confusion should be corrected:” “I noticed that Gulf and foreign media, as well as a large segment of general public, confuse between debts of Dubai government, which are almost non-existent, and the debts of local companies. This confusion should be corrected and the public should be made aware that to separate between the two types of debts,” he said.
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