Monday, December 15, 2008

Citi loans Dubai $8B

Citigroup Incorporated has arranged more than $8 billion (Dh29.3 billion) finance for various Dubai government entities in recent months, the global banking group said.

"This is in line with our commitment to the UAE market in general, and reflects our positive outlook on Dubai in particular," said Citi's chairman, Sir Win Bischoff in a statement.
Citi's renewed commitment comes amidst speculation on Dubai's sovereign debt obligations.

Late last month Mohammad Al Abbar, chairman of the Advisory Council of Dubai's government and chairman of Emaar Properties, stressed that the government was capable of meeting all its obligations.

According to the council's estimates, the government's sovereign debt stood at $10 billion, while its assets, excluding key infrastructure installations were more than $90 billion.

The total debt of government-affiliated companies is estimated at $70 billion, while assets are valued at $260 billion.
That's how Gulf News puts it.

The National says,
A source familiar with the deals said Citi was involved in securing financing for various Dubai companies, including parts of Dubai Holding, owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Citi has arranged to provide part of the $8bn directly, and has secured the rest from other lenders on behalf of various Dubai government-related entities, according to the source.
Among the companies facing the need for financing in the coming year is the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), which has Dh8.08bn of debt maturing in April. “Given current market conditions and considering that the authority does not have committed facilities for liquidity backup, Moody’s notes that the authority faces significant refinancing risk,” wrote Philip Lotter, a sovereign debt analyst at Moody’s, in a report last month.

In the past month, the credit shortage has led some Dubai companies to look for financing at higher rates than previously planned.
Interesting that Abu Dhabi has a substantial ownership stake in Citigroup. It's not stated, but perhaps Abu Dhabi has made a clear signal to Citi that it guarantees the loan.

Here's an irony from March 4, 2008:
Mideast sovereign wealth funds may fail to save troubled U.S. banking giant Citigroup Inc. unless more cash is pumped into the lender, the head of a $13 billion Dubai-owned investment firm said Tuesday.

Sameer Al Ansari, Chief Executive of Dubai International Capital told delegates at a private equity conference that it will take more than the combined efforts of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the Kuwait Investment Authority and Saudi investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal to save the bank.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have to check Gulf News once in a while just for the sheer entertainment value. It's one thing to be in denial or be a mouth piece for the powers-that-be, but if they can't even get a headline right:

I want to give them the benefit of doubt and assume they're making some snide comment about a puppet government in Iraq, but it is Gulf News...let's see if they correct it by the time anyone reads my comment.

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Swings and round-a-bouts. There's been so much talk about AUD bailing out DXB in return for certain assets. Looks like they're using Citigroup as the middle man through which to pass through the transactions.

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