Saturday, February 27, 2010

IMF report on UAE is out

February 18, 2010 --Transcript of a Press Briefing on the 2009 Article IV Consultation with the United Arab Emirates by Masood Ahmed, Director of the International Monetary Fund’s Middle East and Central Asia Department
February 18, 2010 -- United Arab Emirates: 2009 Article IV Consultation - Staff Report; Public Information Notice; and Statement by the Executive Director for United Arab Emirates
Series: Country Report No. 10/42
February 17, 2010 -- Public Information Notice: IMF Executive Board Concludes 2009 Article IV Consultation with United Arab Emirates
Each Public Information Notice contains a background section, a table of selected economic indicators, and an Executive Board assessment.

There's plenty to read. Here's something from the Staff Report:
While there are widely accepted principles for sovereign and corporate debt restructurings, specific best practices for the restructuring of state-owned entities are less clear. Nonetheless, an over-arching principle is that such entities should be subject to the regular corporate insolvency law as far as possible.
And, then later:
Neither DW nor Dubai Inc. discloses consolidated balance sheet or debt information. There are no official statistics, and it is difficult to build them from company financials because the majority of Dubai Inc. entities do not disclose financials, except to their bankers. Documentation in the public domain covers only syndicated loans and bonds as captured by various data providers, and analysts’ estimates are based on these sources. As such, the estimates are of publicly-held debt and therefore exclude (i) syndicated loans for which documentation is incomplete; (ii) bilateral loans (from global or local banks); (iii) accounts payables/suppliers’ credits; and (iv) derivatives, credit commitments, and other liabilities.
Finally, from the Public Information Notice assessment:
Directors stressed the need for increased transparency of economic and financial data, including financial accounts and business strategies for GREs. Together with improved corporate governance, Directors concluded that these steps would contribute to facilitating access of viable GREs to capital markets.

Directors viewed the adoption of the Federal Statistics Law and the establishment of the National Bureau of Statistics as important steps toward developing capacity at the federal level. They stressed the need to develop an action plan including the issuance of implementing regulations and a strengthening of the Board’s operational independence. Directors also welcomed the authorities’ efforts to compile consolidated fiscal statistics and encouraged them to pursue plans to develop leading indicators and the U.A.E’s international investment position, in line with initiatives under the General Data Dissemination System.
The message is clear: the UAE may be modern in many ways, but not in terms of government data collection.

Previous IMF reports can be found at its UAE page.

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