Lex 2010-03-26

After peering into the abyss of default in November, Dubai World has come back from the brink. Dubai’s government proposes to inject $9.5bn into the state-owned conglomerate, including $8bn for property development arm Nakheel. The emirate will convert to equity almost $9bn of its claims on Dubai World and over $1bn owed by Nakheel, so taking a back seat to bank creditors. If the proposal is accepted, Nakheel’s outstanding 2010 and 2011 sukuks, or Islamic bonds, mostly held by domestic banks, will be repaid. Bond prices rallied. Yet the plan, while a step in the right direction, is far from a fait accompli.

True, global and regional bank creditors, which had feared a haircut on their $14.2bn of debt, will not take an upfront hit on their principal. However, they will have to accept extended maturities. But the interest rate proposed could still derail the plan. Although not publicly disclosed, it is said to be adrift of current market rates. Creditor banks would be forced to make provisions if they accepted it.

Dubai will use the remaining $5.7bn of wealthier neighbour Abu Dhabi’s $20bn bail-out package to fund part of its commitment. That leaves $3.8bn to find. Here, Dubai World’s investment portfolio could come in handy – especially its stake in banking group Standard Chartered, whose shares are at all-time highs.

In attempting to resolve Dubai World’s debt woes in an equitable way, the emirate clearly has an eye on its longer-term refinancing needs. Yet the damage to its reputation has been done: banks will not open their cheque books again in a hurry. Although its plan is more than banks could have expected four months ago, if Dubai is serious about regaining its credibility, it should not push its luck on borrowing rates.

英国《金融时报》 Lex专栏 2010-03-26

继去年11月一度濒临债务违约的深渊之后,迪拜世界(Dubai World)终于从悬崖边缘退了回来。迪拜政府计划向该国有集团注资95亿美元,其中80亿美元用于迪拜世界旗下的房地产开发机构Nakheel公司。该酋长国将把迪拜世界对其近90亿美元的债务、Nakheel对其逾10亿美元的债务转换为股份,从而成为仅次于银行债权人的股东。如果该方案被接受,Nakheel公司能偿还大部分将于2010年和2011年到期的伊斯兰债券(大部分由迪拜国内银行持有)。相关债券价格应声上涨。但尽管该计划在正确的方向上迈出了一步,但它还远未功德圆满。


迪拜富裕的邻国阿布扎比提供了200亿美元救助资金,迪拜将利用其中剩余的57亿美元为其部分承诺提供资金。接下来还有38亿美元的缺口。这里,迪拜世界拥有的投资组合可以派上用场,尤其是它在渣打银行(Standard Chartered)所持的股份,后者的价格正处于历史高点。