Dubai to World Investors: This Ain't No Federal Reserve Bailout
Score one for the government of Dubai, who obviously have a few more braincells to rub together amongst themselves than our own fearless leaders here at home.
The Dubai government said on Monday it was not responsible for the debts of Dubai World, dealing a blow to creditors' assumptions that the Arab emirate would guarantee the conglomerate's liabilities.
"Creditors need to take part of the responsibility for their decision to lend to the companies," said Abdulrahman al-Saleh, director general of Dubai's Department of Finance. "They think Dubai World is part of the government, which is not correct."
In its first statement since the crisis began, Dubai World, the government-controlled holding company at the heart of the storm, said a restructuring would involve $26 billion in debt and mostly affect its property firms, Nakheel and Limitless.
Other firms, such as DP World, Jebel Ali Free Zone and Istithmar World would not be included in the restructuring because they were financially stable, it said in a statement released by e-mail late on Monday night.
The previously unreleased figure of $26 billion may help markets to grapple with the scope of the crisis following estimates that the restructuring could affect $59 billion or more in liabilities.
United Arab Emirates stocks plunged on Monday as investors waited for clarity on Dubai's request for a delay until May 2010 on repaying billions of dollars in debt issued by Dubai World and its Nakheel unit, developer of three distinctive palm-shaped islands in the emirate.
European shares fell as investors worried about sovereign financial crises, with the FTSEurofirst 300 off 1.4 percent. But the U.S. dollar fell against the euro after the United Arab Emirates promised liquidity, easing worries about default.
Reminder here that those of us without a penchant for geography should keep in mind, the announcement by the UAE central bank that they'd be busting out the monetary firehose to help Dubai World pay off those $C U Next Tuesday loan sharks was, in fact, not quite a bailout. Dubai World is about as sovereign as McDonaldland, get it straight, people.
It's a Miracle, the Bailout Will Save Us All!
Abu Dhabi is making a grab, make sure you watch the right bouncing ball.
Saleh's remarks in an interview to Dubai TV, a station owned by the ruler of Dubai, came after UAE markets closed.
"They have confirmed there is going to be a restructuring and are doing what they can to differentiate between the government and companies," said Mohieddine Kronfol, managing director at Algebra Capital.
"It doesn't take away from the fact that you have a major potential event that is unraveling. People's expectations aren't going to be met with this announcement."
The UAE's central bank pledged financial support, helping to steady global markets.
The central bank promised additional liquidity to local banks and an official in Dubai's oil-exporting neighbor, Abu Dhabi, said on Sunday it would offer selective support to Dubai firms.
So wait a minute, what the fuck is going on over there?!