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  • RSS Dubai United Arab Emirates Property Real Estate Debt Fraud Developer Investor Court News

    • Criminal Complaint filed against Al Fajer Properties Sheikh Maktoum
      Criminal Complaint filed in Germany against Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Juma Al Maktoum CEO of Dubai Developer Al Fajer Properties The Dubai Sheikh who mislead and extort a German Couple  Germany – Dubai 2011 A German elderly couple , today 80 + 50 years old who have been Dubai Tourists since a decade, bought in 2005 an apartment at Nakheel´s Dubai Residen […]
    • UAE: Human Rights Blogger, Sorbonne Lecturer Charged With ‘Humiliating' Officials
      source Human Rights Watch www.hrw.org (Beirut) - The United Arab Emirates attorney general should immediately drop all charges against five pro-democracy activists to halt their trial, Human Rights Watch said today. The charges of "humiliating" top officials relate solely to the defendants' peaceful use of speech to criticize the UAE governmen […]
    • Nakheel Dubai Sunland Case
      June 5, 2011After 21 hearings, Chris O'Donnell, the Australian chief executive of Dubai's major developer, Nakheel, came to the defence of his former colleagues Matthew Joyce and Marcus Lee. Mr Joyce and Mr Lee are accused of profiting from the sale of land that had been earmarked for a colossal high-rise development, which was to include the futur […]
    • Dubai Nakheel CEO decided to leave the company
      Dubai June 7, 2011 Nakheel said on Wednesday that its CEO Chris O'Donnell had left the company "after completing his contract terms". O'Donnell, an Australian who joined the developer in 2006, said he had decided to leave Nakheel following five years spent with the company, the statement added. O'Donnell has overseen a traumatic time […]
    • Owner of Dubai Developer Damac Hussain Sajwani files case against Egypt corruption ruling
      Dubai property developer Damac said on Tuesday it had filed an international arbitration case against Egypt over a land dispute and the conviction of its chairman and owner, Hussain Sajwani.A Cairo court last week sentenced Sajwani in his absence to jail and ordered him to pay a $40.5 million fine in connection with his 2006 purchase of land at Egypt's […]
    • Dubai Palm Jumeriah - Investors plan to take legal action
      Investors in Dubai Palm Jumeirah’s Golden Mile complex will this week serve the developer behind the project with a legal ultimatum to hand over their units or issue them with a refund.Up to ten investors in the luxury complex plan to issue Souq Residences with legal notice in a bid to force a resolution to a dispute that has been ongoing for more than a yea […]
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Posts Tagged ‘Dubai World’

Dubai property market turned into a nightmare for Marcus Lee

Posted by 7starsdubai on August 28, 2014


A dream job in the Dubai property market turned into a nightmare for Marcus Lee when he was imprisoned on a false bribery charge. In a new book, he describes how he survived five years of living hell, sustained by the support of his wife.

Extract of the Book:

JULIE: I spoke to Matt Joyce’s wife, Ange. She said she had a number for Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, the chairman of Dubai World, Nakheel’s parent company, and she would call him to try to get information. She seemed just as mystified as I was.

MARCUS: On the night of January 28, Matt and I were put in the back of a blacked-out 4WD. We started to ask each other questions when one of the Emiratis said, “No talking.” Speaking in a low murmur, I said I was totally confused. Matt dropped a bombshell. He said, “I helped this company open up a trust account.” I said, “What? Which company?” He said, “I helped Prudentia to open up an escrow account, because they couldn’t open up a bank account in Dubai.”

 

Continue reading original source Sydney Morning Herald

or go to the Facebook account of Marcus Lee

 

Posted in 7starsdubai, Dubai, Dubai Fraud, Dubai Justice, Dubai Prison, Dubai Property Fraud, Marcus Lee, Matt Joyce Dubai, Nakheel | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Dubai property market turned into a nightmare for Marcus Lee

Dubai World – Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayam replaced

Posted by 7starsdubai on December 13, 2010


Dubai ruler, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum named Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, head of Emirates airline, as chairman of Dubai World a year after the company rocked global markets with plans to freeze loan payments.

Sheikh Ahmed replaces Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, who led Dubai World, one of the emirate’s three main state-owned holding companies, when property unit Nakheel built palm-shaped islands off the emirate’s coast. The company built up $40 billion in debt as he turned DP World Ltd. into the world’s fourth-biggest port operator and bought stakes in companies including the U.S. casino group MGM Mirage.

The new board includes Mohammed Ibrahim al-Shaibani, director-general of the Dubai ruler’s court and chief executive officer of Investment Corp. of Dubai; Ahmed Bin Humaid Al Tayer, governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre; and Abdulrahman Al Saleh, director-general of the department of finance. Sheikh Ahmed is also head of the Dubai Supreme Fiscal Committee.

Posted in Dubai World, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem | Tagged: , | Comments Off on Dubai World – Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayam replaced

Creditors reject Dubai World 1 % interest offer

Posted by 7starsdubai on April 17, 2010


original source Arabian Business

Sources told Reuters that Dubai World’s 1 percent rate offer on the new debt
was rejected by creditors, who countered the offer with one at market
rate, which they estimated to be around 5 percent.
continue reading

Posted in Dubai, Dubai World, Nakheel | Tagged: , | Comments Off on Creditors reject Dubai World 1 % interest offer

Dubai – Ali Rashid Ahmed Lootah new chairman of Nakheel

Posted by 7starsdubai on March 31, 2010


source Wall Street Journal
The government here replaced Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem as chairman of
Nakheel, the property developer that the city-state is restructuring
along with its one-time parent Dubai World.
continue reading…

Posted in Dubai, Nakheel | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Dubai – Ali Rashid Ahmed Lootah new chairman of Nakheel

Dubai World`s Debt

Posted by 7starsdubai on February 15, 2010


original source The National

Top officials from the US and British governments are calling for
transparency in the settlement of Dubai World’s US$22 billion (Dh80.8bn)
debt restructuring, intensifying diplomatic pressure to conclude a deal
with creditors.

Neal Wolin, the deputy secretary of the US
Treasury, said he would call on officials during his visit to Dubai
today to ensure openness in the restructuring of the emirate’s
companies.

“I think it’s important that, as they work through these
restructurings and these issues, that it be done in a way that is
transparent so that we can all understand what’s going on,” Mr Wolin
said.
continue reading…

Posted in Dubai, Dubai World | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Dubai World`s Debt

Dubai Fraud Trial – Lawyer asked the court to subpoena Hussein Sajwani, the owner of Damac Properties

Posted by 7starsdubai on December 18, 2009


originaL source The National
DUBAI // Defence lawyers in the Sama Dubai fraud trial tried to use the fallout from the recent restructuring of Dubai World to make their case to the Appeals Court yesterday that their client should not be tried as a public official.

AM, 42, an Emirati and former senior executive at Sama Dubai, was acquitted of charges of breach of duty in July.

Last month the public prosecution asked that he be retried, saying his acquittal came because he had been tried as a private employee.

The prosecutor, Abdel Rahman al Memari, told the court that since Sama Dubai was owned by Dubai Holdings – owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Ruler of Dubai and Vice President of the UAE – AM should instead have been tried as a public official.

In that case, Mr al Memari said, AM would have been legally required to declare commissions he received, including five apartments valued at Dh2.7 million (US$735,000), and Dh200,000 in cash.

If accepted, that claim would have significant repercussions for a number of the fraud cases currently working their way through the Dubai courts, as many of the defendants could similarly be considered to be public officials.

However, in court, the defence pointed out that since Dubai World’s restructuring was announced last month, officials had stressed the arm’s-length relationship between the Government and some of the emirate’s biggest companies.

For the defence, Ali al Shamsi reminded the three Appeals Court judges of government statements saying it would not guarantee the debts of a conglomerate owned by Sheikh Mohammed.

“The recent press statements issued by government officials about the company owned by the Ruler of Dubai are a clear indication that these companies are not government-owned entities,” said Mr al Shamsi.

He referred to a television interview given by Abdel Rahman al Saleh, the director general of the Dubai Department of Finance, in which Mr al Saleh said: “Creditors need to take part of the responsibility for their decision to lend to the companies. They think Dubai World is part of the Government, which is not correct.”

Mr al Shamsi told the court that Dubai Holdings, like Dubai World, was not owned by the Dubai Government.

Its subsidiaries were registered as limited liability companies, he said, meaning that AM could not be charged as a public official.

Meanwhile, Saeed al Ghailani, who is representing a Syrian Damac property development manager, AH, 32, in the same trial, asked the court to subpoena Hussein Sajwani, the owner and chief executive of Damac Properties, to be cross-examined.

AH is accused of being complicit in the alleged bribes of the Sama Dubai employees as well as accepting Dh650,000.

Mr al Ghailani said his client acted according to the instructions of the owner of the company, Mr Sajwani.

The trial was adjourned until January.

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Posted in Fraud Dubai | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Dubai Fraud Trial – Lawyer asked the court to subpoena Hussein Sajwani, the owner of Damac Properties

Outlook in concrete- Dubai World `s obligations and Debts

Posted by 7starsdubai on December 14, 2009


original source Blogs The National by Wayne Arnold

In response to queries, I’m revisiting an earlier post: “Reports of my debt have been greatly exaggerated,” in which I posted estimates of Dubai World’s real debts after its revelation that it had $59 billion in consolidated liabilities. This terrifying number sparked some to wonder if the treadworn estimates of Dubai Inc.’s $80 billion in debts might actually be higher or that Dubai World’s debts may somehow account for half of the total.

The grand total for Dubai World and its units appears to be $36.49bn, of which $26bn is subject to restructuring.

Strictly speaking, no one knows for sure. Dubai and its subsidiary companies do not publish official debt tallies or debt repayment schedules. But thanks to the diligent work of analysts at EFG-Hermes, Deutsche Bank and Standard & Poor’s, just to name a few, here’s what we know, or at least think we know:

Dubai World has
$59.3bn in consolidated liabilities,
according to its own statements, which includes all debt and non-debt obligations at the conglomerate, its 12 subsidiaries and the 78 other units they own or control.

Of this, the group owes an estimated
$10.52bn in bonds and
$13.3bn in loans, for a total of
$23.82bn, according to Deutsche Bank.

But clearly this leaves out significant portions of the Group’s overall debts, because Dubai World has announced that the restructuring will affect $26bn in debt, $20bn at Dubai World and Limitless, and $6bn at Nakheel.

Deutsche bank has been able to track down only a portion of these.
Dubai World, it estimates, owes
$5.5bn in outstanding loans
EFG-Hermes has put the loan figure at $6.7bn.

Nakheel owes
$5.23bn in bonds and
$1.85bn in loans for a total of debt of
$7.08bn.

Limitless owes
$1.2bn in loans

That only adds up to $13.78bn, leaving $12.22bn in debt unaccounted for.

If we assume that the total debts at Dubai World, Nakheel and Limitless are $26bn and add Deutsche Bank’s estimates for the other Dubai World units, we come up with a total group debt of $36.49bn.

Here’s a schedule of maturies for the Dubai World group debts we know about:
Dec. 14: Nakheel’s $3.52bn sukuk is due, though Dubai World has said it plans to ask creditors for a six-month extension.
March 31, 2010: Limitless due to repay $1.2bn loan
May 13: Nakheel due to pay Dh3.6bn in bonds
[May14: if it wins an extension on its 12/14/09 bonds, Nakheel would have its $3.52bn sukuk to repay this day.]
June 23: Dubai World due to pay $2.1bn loan
Nov. 1: Nakheel due to pay Dh367.35mn loan
Jan. 11, 2011: Nakheel due to pay $1.2bn loan
Jan. 16, 2011: Nakheel due to pay $750mn bond
Feb. 23, 2011: DP World due to pay $6.3bn loan
Feb. 23, 2011: DP World due to pay $200mn loan
March 22, 2011: Ports Customs and Free Zones due to repay $6.8bn loan (unclear whether this is still a Dubai World liability)
April 12, 2011: DP World due to pay $400mn loan
April 12, 2011: DP World due to pay $6.8bn loan
June 20, 2011: Dubai World due to repay $450mn loan
June 24, 2011: Dubai World due to repay $1.95bn loan
July 10, 2011: Ports Customs and Free Zones due to repay $1.003bn loan
Aug. 10, 2011: Dubai Drydocks due to pay $1.7bn loan
Sept. 29, 2011: Ports & Free Zone World due to pay $150.027mn loan
Sept. 29, 2011: Ports & Free Zone World due to pay $853mn loan
Sept. 30, 2011: Dubai Drydocks due to repay $2.2bn loan
Oct. 21, 2011: Dubai Drydocks due to repay $1.7bn loan

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Dubai`s finance chief blamed the media for spreading “blind panic”

Posted by 7starsdubai on December 11, 2009


original source maktoob

DUBAI – Dubai’s finance chief blamed the media on Thursday for spreading “blind panic” about the emirate’s financial problems as it struggles to deal with more than $80 billion of government and corporate debt.

In a speech to the Dubai School of Government, Abdulrahman Al Saleh, director of Dubai’s Department of Finance, said the emirate’s debt problems were a “hiccup-damaging for Dubai’s credibility and lacking broader significance of exaggerated media campaigns.”

Al Saleh accused the international press of creating “blind panic” about Dubai’s economic troubles after it asked bankers to freeze $26 billion worth of debt owed by one of its largest government owned companies, Dubai World.

Dubai’s benchmark stock index has fallen about 30% since the government shocked investors by seeking a standstill on Dubai World’s debt late last month.

Read also: They still dont get it ….guardian uk

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Dubai Schulden Albtraum-Szenario – Dubai World – Nakheel – Dewa

Posted by 7starsdubai on December 10, 2009


original source Handelsblatt Germany

“Viele Kreditverträge haben eine Klausel über reziproken Verzug: Wenn ein Gläubiger in einem Fall zahlungsunfähig wird, kann er bei all seinen anderen Kredit-Verpflichtungen ebenfalls in die Zahlungsunfähigkeit abrutschen”, sagte Jawad Ali von der Anwaltskanzlei King & Spalding. Im Klartext: Sollte Nakheel seine Außenstände nicht begleichen, muss die Mutter Dubai World einkalkulieren, dass alle Gläubiger plötzlich ihre Ansprüche geltend machen.

Die Details hingen von der Formulierung des jeweiligen Vertrags ab. “Das ist ein Albtraum-Szenario, das Dubai World mit dem Schulden-Moratorium verhindern möchte”, so Ali.

read the full article Auf Dubai rollt nächste Schuldenlawine zu (bei Handelsblatt.com am 10.12.2009 veröffentlicht)

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Debt problems for Dubai may swell

Posted by 7starsdubai on December 8, 2009


original source Bloomberg

Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) — Debt restructuring by Dubai state-run companies may almost double to $46.7 billion as more of the emirate’s businesses could need help making payments, Morgan Stanley said.

Dubai Holding LLC, Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group LLC, Borse Dubai Ltd. and Dubai Sukuk Center Ltd. may join Dubai World in restructuring debt, Morgan Stanley analysts Mohamed W. Jaber and Paolo Batori wrote in a report. Government- controlled Dubai World said last week that it’s in talks to renegotiate $26 billion of loans.

It’s likely that other state companies will “announce debt restructuring plans over the near term,” Jaber and Batori wrote. “We believe that a haircut on the external debt at risk in the area of 40-50 percent is necessary to have a notable long-term favorable impact on public debt dynamics.”

Islamic bonds issued by Nakheel PJSC, Dubai World’s property unit, that mature Dec. 14 fell to 51.5 cents on the dollar from 53 cents yesterday, heading for the lowest closing price on record, according to Citigroup Inc. prices.

read more….

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Dubai Index slumps again

Posted by 7starsdubai on December 8, 2009


original source Bloomberg
Dec. 8 , 2009 — Dubai shares tumbled, erasing almost all of this year’s gains, on investor concern that Dubai World is struggling to restructure debt.

Emaar Properties PJSC, the United Arab Emirates’ biggest real-estate developer, slumped 9.8 percent and Emirates NBD PJSC retreated to the lowest since Sept. 3. The DFM General Index plunged 6.1 percent to 1,638.05. The measure, which closed at the lowest since July 13, has tumbled 22 percent since Dubai said on Nov. 25 that it was seeking a “standstill” agreement on Dubai World’s debt.

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Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum : “They do not understand anything.”

Posted by 7starsdubai on December 3, 2009


original source The Independent

Headline: Sheikh attacks investors for global fallout of Dubai debt

The ruler of Dubai hit out at international investors yesterday as his government’s impecunious investment vehicle revealed plans to restructure $26bn of its debts.

Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum said: “They do not understand anything.”

After days of uncertainty that sent shudders throughout the world’s stock markets, Dubai World finally unveiled plans to address the liabilities of its two property ventures – Nakheel and Limitless – after midnight on Monday night.

The timing of Dubai’s request for a debt standstill, on the eve of the four-day Eid holiday, drew criticism from financial communities across the globe.

But in his first public comments since the crisis broke, Sheikh Mohammed had harsh words for investors and remained bullish about Dubai’s economy. “We are strong and persistent,” he said. “It is the fruit-bearing tree that becomes the target of [stone] throwers.”

more… The Independet

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Nakheel and its parent will be a test case for Dubai

Posted by 7starsdubai on December 3, 2009


original source Business Standard

Dubai World’s guarantee to bondholders could prove worthless. The emirate’s holding company, which is seeking a six-month standstill from creditors, pledged to repay a $3.5 billion Islamic bond issued by its now troubled property subsidiary Nakheel. Yet with local creditors effectively calling the shots, foreign lenders might find enforcing that guarantee impossible.

Nakheel has asked for trading in all three of its listed Islamic bonds to be suspended. Only the first, which was issued in 2006 and is due to mature December 14, was guaranteed by parent Dubai World. The liability on the subsequent two bonds, which have a total face value of $1.7 billion and mature in 2010 and 2011, appears to be limited to Nakheel itself.

The Dubai property developer’s 2008 accounts show $41.5 billion of assets and $17.5 billion of liabilities — a net asset value of $24 billion. But real estate prices in the emirate have fallen around 50 per cent in 2009.

That means Nakheel, which funded some of the emirate’s most outlandish projects, could easily now have a negative equity value of $5.5 billion.

The equity value at parent Dubai World, which had liabilities of $59 billion at the end of 2008, is also likely to be negative. Its portfolio of 10 companies looks mostly troubled. However, Dubai World does hold 77 per cent of publicly-listed ports operator DP World. That was worth $5.1 billion on November 25, just before Dubai World announced its intention to restructure.

Nakheel’s foreign creditors shouldn’t get excited about their recovery prospects.

To get a lawsuit against Dubai World off the ground, 75 per cent of Nakheel’s bondholders have to agree. But the majority of creditors are local banks, which are likely to accede to any request to roll over Nakheel’s debt — even if the capital structure remains unsustainable, according to one ratings analyst. And even if local lenders joined in, Dubai’s law might not support a claim that forced the sale of the assets of government-related entities.

Lawyers agree the restructuring of Nakheel and its parent will be a test case. That makes Dubai World’s guarantee look less than solid.

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If Nakheel Dubai defaults, it will be the largest-ever sukuk default in the world

Posted by 7starsdubai on December 3, 2009


original source Wall Street Journal

The price drop in bonds related to Dubai World’s real-estate subsidiary has posed a question for investors: Does the discounted debt represent an attractive buying opportunity or an ill-advised journey into the uncharted world of debt restructurings of this size in the Persian Gulf?

Bonds of real-estate subsidiary Nakheel dropped in value after the Gulf city-state said last week that it was delaying payment of state-run Dubai World’s debt.

The conglomerate said Tuesday that it was seeking to restructure $26 billion in debt, of which about $6 billion is related to Nakheel, and would ask for a six-month standstill on debt payments. 

But with no precedent in the United Arab Emirates for a restructuring of this size, and its government ownership, creditors are in the dark as to how the process may work. As a result, investors will be watching events related to the Nakheel bonds for a road map for future restructurings in the region.

Prices of the roughly $3.5 billion of Islamic bonds, called sukuk, from Nakheel had traded at about 110 cents on the dollar before the Nov. 25 announcement of a delay in Dubai World’s debt payments. Prices had fallen to as low as about 40 cents, but by late Wednesday had rebounded to about 60 cents.

Investors buying the bonds, on which Dubai World is due to pay a principal amount of about 116 cents on the dollar on Dec. 14, are betting that the guarantee and the underlying assets will be worth more than the prices at which the bonds have been trading.

But there remains uncertainty because Dubai World has provided few details about what the restructuring plan would entail.

Moreover, bondholders are unsure of their options if they don’t want to accept the offer.

It isn’t clear that Dubai courts would enforce any rights that holders may have to seize Dubai World’s assets, either land used to secure the Nakheel sukuk or other property the parent company owns, as Western courts might.

Dubai’s legal system is “untested” for a restructuring of this size and international scope, given Dubai World’s overseas assets, said Jawad Ali, a partner at law firm King & Spaulding based in Dubai. “There isn’t a mechanism in place that is laid out clearly,” he said.

Julian Lim, a bond analyst at Nomura Holdings in London, said bond holders are in a weak legal position. As a result, Mr. Lim said bondholders potentially could recoup less than 50 cents on the dollar.

Bondholders representing about a quarter of the nominal value of the $3.5 billion sukuk have formed a group and have appointed London law firm Ashurst LLP to represent them in negotiations.

An added complexity is that bondholders will be in competition with the more than 80 bank creditors of Dubai World.

The banks on Wednesday began formulating a plan for negotiating a restructuring of the conglomerate’s debt to lenders and bond holders. KPMG LLP is expected to be appointed this week to advise the interests of the lenders, said people familiar with the situation.

All creditors must agree to the standstill in order for it to be valid, according to restructuring professionals from two law firms who have seen Dubai World’s sukuk documentation.

If the standstill isn’t agreed to by Dec. 14, when Nakheel’s sukuk is due, Dubai World will technically be in default. If Nakheel defaults, it will be the largest-ever sukuk default in the world and the first sukuk default in the United Arab Emirates.

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Dubai is down, but fighting for its place in the sun

Posted by 7starsdubai on December 2, 2009


original source Wall Street Journal

Dubai 2 December 2009

Finally, a chink of light. Dubai World has belatedly provided some of details on its planned debt restructuring.

But for investors the situation still resembles a darkened room, where the outlines of the furniture are now visible but little else. And for Dubai itself, there is more than just the future of $26 billion of debt at stake. The emirate’s credibility as a financial center and its ability to continue financing good businesses, such as ports operator DP World, will hinge on its handling of the crisis.

Tuesday brought some good news. The $26 billion of debt affected is less than the $60 billion feared last week. Even so, questions linger. The restructuring process will include Dubai World itself and property developers Nakheel World and Limitless World. Analysts at Barclays Capital have identified $8.5 billion of debt at Nakheel, $5.5 billion at Dubai World and $1.2 billion at Limitless. That still leaves $10 billion unaccounted for. It may be in bilateral bank loans where there is no public disclosure. But it still leaves creditors unsure of their position.

It is also encouraging that Dubai World intends to adopt a policy of regular communication, though again the process lacks detail. For example, it is unclear whether the six-month standstill requested from creditors is voluntary or enforced. Given the looming Nakheel maturity — just two weeks away — it will be a challenge to secure creditor agreement in advance. If some lenders reject a stand-still it could trigger another bout of uncertainty and bondholders are organizing themselves for battle: a group holding 25% of the Nakheel bonds has hired Ashurst as a legal adviser.

Dubai’s strategy relies on ringfencing certain key businesses from the general restructuring — possible because of the lack of cross guarantees in the Dubai World group. For example, Ports & Free Zone World, which includes port operator DP World and P&O Ferries, is now clearly excluded from the process. But the initial lack of clarity on this issue has already cost Dubai Inc. a swathe of ratings downgrades. Of Moody’s six ratings on Dubai companies, four are now junk.

The history of debt restructurings suggests that investors will not be scared off Dubai forever. Russia, for example, returned as an oil-fuelled darling of international investors even after its sovereign default in 1998 and amid continuing corporate governance and transparency problems.

If Dubai handles the painful process sensibly, it will emerge chastened from the experience, but not necessarily a spent force. The infrastructure built during the bubble will not vanish. The emirate now has to prove its status as one of the most western-friendly places to do business in a region still attractive for its massive oil wealth. If it can do so, Dubai will be down, not out.

Write to Richard Barley at richard.barley@dowjones.com

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Dubai Crisis : This is why investors are nervous. It’s not the lack of money

Posted by 7starsdubai on December 1, 2009


original source Wall Street Journal

Dubai’s troubles offer a warning of the perils of investing in places where leaders–whether of governments or companies–have limited accountability.

In fact, it raises questions about other investment destinations: China, for example.

One reason why markets continue to be jittery over last week’s news of a standstill on property conglomerate Dubai World’s debt is the lack of transparency surrounding it. That’s a direct function of a closed political system that is not conducive to foreign investment.

The announcement of the restructuring has been handled abysmally. Even with Dubai World divulging long-awaited details Monday, information has been spotty and contradictory.

It’s still not clear which creditors will be hit, and there are still big questions over how much of a guarantee oil-rich sister emirate Abu Dhabi is willing to give to back up Dubai’s debt.

Investors have been left to speculate over political motives.

One theory holds that Abu Dhabi ruler Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is withholding his support–despite the financial risks of not doing so–because he’s angered by his Dubai counterpart’s close ties to Iran.

Alternatively, others say that the naturally more conservative Abu Dhabi is simply reluctant to stoke moral hazard by bailing out Dubai’s risky property investments.

Either way, because they can’t divine what’s going on in either of these two billionaire monarchs’ heads is the essence of investors’ problems. In an information vacuum, many have imagined the worst and have felt compelled to sell their Dubai debt positions, which in turn creates problems for banks with exposures there and, by extension, for global stock and credit markets.

This all stems from the overarching political system in place.

In the absence of democratic institutions, the UAE’s sheikhs are not required to explain themselves.

And as the majority owners of many of the biggest companies, they face no checks and balances from minority shareholders. Meanwhile, contract law is fraught with the uncertainty of a legal system that’s low on judicial independence.

This is why investors are nervous. It’s not the lack of money.

After all, Abu Dhabi, with a sovereign wealth fund worth anywhere from $300 billion to $900 billion, has plenty of that.

The bigger lesson in all this is that investors need to be doubly careful of investing in countries with closed political systems.

With the spectacular failure of U.S. financial markets last year, it has become fashionable to laud the top-down central planning of countries like China, which was able to more quickly put its giant fiscal stimulus to work this year.

But if and when China faces a crisis, investors will have a more difficult time interpreting the actions of government officials and of the managers of its state-run corporations than they would in more openly governed countries.

To be sure, the Chinese Communist Party functions with more consensus than monarchy like Dubai. And for now, China’s capital controls make it nearly impossible for foreigners to make portfolio investments there.

Nonetheless, direct foreign investment in China is soaring, as is broader exposure to its boom via assets in neighboring countries. If nothing else, Dubai’s crisis is a reminder that those investments carry political risks that are absent from more transparent markets.

—Michael Casey writes a regular column on fixed income markets for Dow Jones Newswires. Previously he was Newswires’ Buenos Aires bureau chief and before that, assistant managing editor for the U.S. economy, Treasurys and foreign-exchange group in New York.

Write to Michael Casey at michael.j.casey@dowjones.com

Further Stories

read also: Dubai Debt Follows String of Troubles for Its Ruler  by Margaret Coker WSJ

read also from BBC : What is Dubai and who runs it ?

read also from BBC: Dubai shares see biggest fall this year


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Debt Crisis Dubai World – Why is Dubai still causing concern ?

Posted by 7starsdubai on November 30, 2009


original source Guardian UK

Why is Dubai still causing concern?

Yesterday was the first day investors were able to trade in many Middle East markets since news broke on Wednesday that Dubai World, one of the region’s largest property companies, was unable to pay its debts. Many suspect the news was released before the holiday, Eid, to limit the global reaction; instead investors panicked even more due to a lack of information. Their worst fears were confirmed yesterday when the Dubai government finally issued a statement but refused to stand behind the company.

What about western markets?

European and US stockmarkets have calmed down since last week, but the episode has reignited fears that our financial system is not through the worst. British banks such as HSBC, Standard Chartered, RBS and Lloyds are most exposed, although they have told City regulators that their losses are manageable. Other countries with large international debts such as Greece, Ukraine and the UK have seen investors take fright, sparking fresh fears that the next phase of the crisis will move from companies to countries.

Has Dubai gone bust?

Technically, the crisis at Dubai World is a purely commercial matter, and should not count as a national or sovereign debt default. But the company is so intimately tied to the emirate and its ruling family that the government would have tried everything possible to protect it before resorting to this.

What help is Dubai getting from other Arab states?

Abu Dhabi, Dubai’s larger neighbour, yesterday offered to provide emergency funding for local and foreign banks, but pointedly declined to provide specific guarantees to Dubai World. What support is offered is likely to come with strings attached.

Will the IMF need to get involved?

Rumours swirled over the weekend that the International Monetary Fund was preparing an emergency bailout. This was downplayed in Washington, but officials called on local central banks to intervene and said they were monitoring the situation carefully.

Has the crisis been overblown?

The recovery in international markets has led some market commentators to argue that the Dubai World default was an isolated incident. However, both western banks and local politicians have a strong incentive to underestimate the losses. Independent analysts who have studied Dubai’s debt problem such as UBS and EFG-Hermes, a local investment bank, estimate it is much larger than the official $80bn – possibly rising to $120bn-$150bn.

Will it come closer to home?

Jitters over the creditworthiness of countries such as Greece could become self-fulfilling if they are unable to finance their debts using international investors. This would put enormous pressure on the eurozone, which may be forced to bail out weaker members or see the future of the single currency put in jeopardy. Countries outside the euro, such as the UK, may also see the cost of borrowing increase if the cost of insuring their debt continues to rise. But the more immediate worry is the exposure of British banks, which make up four of the six banks most heavily involved in Dubai World.

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Dubai Stock Market Slumps – Black Monday 30 November 2009

Posted by 7starsdubai on November 30, 2009


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Dubai Financial Crisis – Actual News Dubai Debt Problems

Posted by 7starsdubai on November 29, 2009


Telegraph UK 29 November 2009

Abu Dhabi will not race to Dubai`s rescue

Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai is under mounting pressure to explain the emirate’s debt problems, after Abu Dhabi indicated that it will not write a blank cheque to bail out its neighbour.
read more

From Bloomberg 29. November 2009
Samsung C & T stops Dubai Bridge Work as Nakheel halts payments

Wall Street Journal 29.November 2009
DUBAI (Zawya Dow Jones)–Debt-laden Dubai World’s unit Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority, or Jafza, faces on Monday a coupon payment on a 7.5 billion U.A.E dirham ($2.04 billion) Islamic bond in the first key test of whether it will default.

The Islamic bond, or sukuk, was issued in November 2007 through a Cayman Islands-registered company called JAFZ Sukuk Limited and pays 130 basis points over the six-month Emirates Interbank Offered Rate, according to Zawya.com.

The coming coupon payment is estimated to be between AED125 million and AED135 million, according to analyst calculations.

Spokespersons for Dubai World declined to comment on the payment Saturday, a holiday in the U.A.E. The Jafza sukuk is the first payment due for a Dubai government-related entity since the restructuring announcement Wednesday, which sent global markets and banks into a panic before the weekend.

Dubai World’s request for a standstill will include a key $3.52 billion bond owned by Nakheel, the developer behind Dubai’s palm-shaped islands, that matures on Dec. 14.

Payments on the sukuk are made semi-annually, on May 27 and Nov. 27. Bankers said that payment is due on Monday, since Nov. 27 fell on a weekend in the U.A.E.

Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, and Lehman Brothers acted as joint lead managers and joint bookrunners, according to the bond prospectus. The sukuk is due November 2012.

Jafza operates a free trade zone and industrial parks in the port town of Jebel Ali, outside of the city of Dubai, and is a unit of Economic Zones World, or EZW. EZW is operated by Dubai World.

S&P and Moody’s downgraded Jafza and other Dubai government related-entities Wednesday, after Dubai World said it would restructure and ask for a standstill on all debts until at least May 2010. S&P placed Jafza on creditwatch with negative implications. Moody’s downgraded its issuer and debt ratings to Ba1 from Baa1.

Seoul officials meet to cope with Dubai debt crisis 29. November 2009

South Korea’s financial authorities were to convene a meeting later on Sunday to gauge the fallout from the Dubai debt crisis and discuss countermeasures to stave off any possible impact on the nation’s financial markets, officials said…… read more

Telegraph UK 29. November 2009

Tim Clark, president of Emirates Group, has said the Dubai business community is “shocked” by the financial crisis.

read more…

Telegraph UK 29. November 2009

Dubai an Emirate in crisis

…..Dubai is in trouble. We already knew that, long before the announcement last week that it wanted to delay payments on billions of dollars of debts owed by its Dubai World (DW) state holding company. But the trouble caused by a collapse in the property market put the city on a par with other states around the globe. This announcement was of a different order. It damaged the credibility of the city’s government and, by extension, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a whole. ….
read more

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Dubai Prosecutors will hunt former senior executive of Istithmar World

Posted by 7starsdubai on November 6, 2009


Dubai, 05 November 2009
An Interpol Red Notice could be issued for the arrest and possible extradition of Chris Turner, who was sentenced in absentia to five years in jail for embezzling AED4.9 million ($1.3m), UAE daily The National reported on Thursday.

The former risk assessment manager for the investment arm of Dubai World was also ordered by Dubai Criminal Court to pay $2.7m in fines and restitution.

Turner, speaking to newswire Zawya Dow Jones from a location outside the UAE, said: “I’m innocent of the charges and I’m not in the country. I’m reviewing my legal options.”

“This is a matter for the appropriate authorities,” said a spokesman at Istithmar World in an emailed statement to the newswire.

But prosecutors in the UAE said they would hunt for him.

source Arabian Business here read the full article

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Herve Jaubert fled Dubai dressed as a woman

Posted by 7starsdubai on August 18, 2009


source Arabian Business

A former French special agent who worked for Dubai World has spoken of his anger at being convicted in absence of defrauding the company out of millions of dirhams – a charge he strongly denies.

Herve Jaubert told Arabian Business of a carefully planned escape from Dubai aboard a rubber dingy and dressed in a burqa to evade police using skills he developed as a spy.

The former French naval officer, who is now living in the United States, said he is not worried about being tracked down to face his five-year prison sentence because he can prove his innocence.

“I deny everything,” he told Arabian Business during a telephone interview. “When I saw that I was convicted in absentia I was totally outraged.  But no matter what the truth is going to come out eventually.”

One way he hopes to be able to do this is through his book outlining the story of his escape, which is due to be published in October.

Jaubert told Arabian Business he decided to flee the country last year after his passport was confiscated by police and he was fired by Dubai World.

“In Dubai, if you don’t have a passport and you don’t have a job you cannot survive,” he said. “I found myself in this situation. So instead of fighting it, I told the auditors I would pay them back. I did not sign anything, but I played the game.”

Meanwhile he was planning his escape. Jaubert sent his wife and children back to Florida where they had all been living before moving to Dubai in 2004, and once they were gone he went into hiding.

“Once I was alone in Dubai then I turned to what I used to do before as an intelligence officer.

“A friend would rent a room for me in a hotel with his passport so my details would never show up. I would stay in the hotel for three days and then change.

“I bought a sail boat, and then I bought a rubber dingy and I escaped on the dingy. When I was a secret agent for my country I used to do that – go in and out of countries on a rubber dingy – because no one pays attention to a rubber dingy.”

Jaubert left from a beach in Fujairah early one morning after sabotaging the only coast guard boat in the area to make sure no one could follow him.

He spent six hours aboard the rubber dingy before meeting his friend, who had sailed his boat into international waters, and the pair headed to India on a journey that took eight days.

“I’m a naval officer, so at that point I knew what I was doing,” he said.

“When I was a secret agent I was a ghost, but here it was different, I was not a ghost anymore. I decided to disguise myself as a woman and then I became a ghost.

“When you are covered from head-to-toe in an abaya and veil nobody talks to you, nobody looks at you. Wearing the abaya nobody bothered me, it’s like I never existed.

“That’s the best disguise you can find because even a police officer can not talk to you.”

Jaubert was sentenced to five years in jail and fined AED14m by Dubai Criminal Court at a hearing in June at which he was not present.

The court was told that Jaubert’s company, Seahorse Submarines, had bought equipment worth AED11.8m for Exomos, the submarine division of Dubai World, but that it did not all arrive.

Jaubert had a contract with Dubai World to build two submarines, but prosecutors told the court that when the vessels were delivered they were incomplete and faulty. He wrote to Dubai World and agreed to settle the matter by paying an initial AED3m, but he fled the country before handing over any money.

My book is going to come out and people are going to know the true story and then I will put it behind me,” Jaubert said.

He is even confident that readers in Dubai will be able to get a copy.

“There’s no way this book is going to be available in Dubai in the open, but I’ve found a way. There will be some tricks, if you want. The book will be disguised. If you order the book you might receive a book on flowers or furniture, but it’s just a cover,” he said.

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