Dubai Eyeing Alternate Plan For Debt Repayment

The emirate may issue another sovereign bond this year, says senior official.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum.

Dubai may issue another sovereign bond this year and is looking at alternate means to repay its debt if asset sales don’t materialise, a top official said on Tuesday.

“The market is right, the price is right, then why not?” Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, a close advisor and uncle to Dubai’s ruler, said when asked whether the emirate might make a second sovereign debt issue this year.

Sheikh Ahmed, a key figure in the emirate’s recovery from its 2009 debt crisis, was speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of a Dubai travel industry conference.

Four years ago, Dubai was forced to ask for a $25 billion debt restructuring for its flagship investment vehicle Dubai World. The restructuring plan envisaged the sale of some assets to meet obligations, but there still has been little progress with sales.

Sheikh Ahmed said the emirate was looking at an alternative plan to repay its debt.

“We will look at something like this. I can’t specify what, since it’s confidential information because of the restructuring,” he said when asked if an alternative to asset sales was in place.

Sheikh Ahmed said that in some areas, asset sales might have to be delayed, “because we might see in six months to one year things will be better.”