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Dubai takes over Crown Prince’s firm

Zabeel is only managed by DREC, the ownership is still the same," Mohammed al-Shaibani told Reuters on the sidelines of a real estate conference.


October 2, 2012 11:08 by

State-owned Dubai Real Estate Corp. (DREC) has taken over the management of Zabeel Investments, the indebted firm owned by Dubai’s crown prince, the chief executive of Investment Corporation of Dubai said on Tuesday.

Sources told Reuters last week that DREC had taken over the company, which owes about 6 billion dirhams ($1.6 billion) to mostly local banks.

“Zabeel is only managed by DREC, the ownership is still the same,” Mohammed al-Shaibani told Reuters on the sidelines of a real estate conference.

The sources said DREC will lead fresh debt discussions. Talks on restructuring the debt ground to a halt in January.

Zabeel, owned by Crown Prince Hamdan bin Mohammed al-Maktoum, once had stakes inSony Corp and planemaker EADS. Formed in 2006, the company has hospitality, property and private equity assets. It owns the lavish Zabeel Saray hotel on Dubai’s man-made Palm Jumeirah island.

Shaibani, who is also head of Dubai’s Rulers Court and a member of the emirate’s Supreme Fiscal Committee, said Investment Corporation of Dubai had no plans to offload businesses.

“There are no plans to sell assets at ICD, all our holdings are strategic,” he said.

ICD holds about $70 billion in assets and its financial position is bolstered by dividend payouts from its portfolio of companies. Its investments include successful airline Emirates , bank Emirates NBD and Dubai Islamic Bank .

Dubai has negotiated terms to restructure some $41 billion of debt related to its flagship conglomerate Dubai World and its property arm Nakheel, promising to repay the debt partly through asset sales.


1 Comment

  1. Tarek Aziz on October 2, 2012 5:48 pm

    IMF’s views on the current UAE Economy and its commercial banks Q1 2012.

    Any worsening of the pressures on euro zone governments and banks to fund themselves would pose a direct risk for the UAE, the IMF said. Despite solid economic growth last year, Dubai is still recovering from its 2009-2010 corporate debt crisis.

    “While the funding situation of local banks has stabilised, a foreign funding shock could generate some liquidity tightening in the banking sector,” the report said. It predicted the asset quality of UAE banks would deteriorate this year and the number of bad loans would rise alarmingly, although the banking sector may be able to handle a significant increase. Seven out of 26 listed companies in the UAE’s real estate sector, with total liabilities of $12 billion, have operating losses or do not have sufficient operating income to service their debt, it said.

    In view of the above please tighten the belts of the commercial banks asap.


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