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Wednesday, 25 February 2009

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Riz Khan - Dubai: Is the party over? - Feb 23 2009 - Part 2

Al Jazeera video clip.

Riz Khan - Dubai: Is the party over? - Feb 23 2009 - Part 1

Al Jazeera video clip

Dubai bond not asset-backed, should be enough -official

Dubai's $20 billion bond programme is not backed by assets but secured by the government of the emirate and should be enough even in the worst case scenario, a Dubai government official said on Wednesday.

The Dubai finance department official told reporters that it had received great interest in the second $10 billion tranche of the programme.

The money would be used to help companies refinance their debt and a fund to support small businesses was also being considered. Property-related firms were likely to receive support.

"Companies might face difficulties in refinancing. Times are challenging ... now it is up to us to protect the major players in our economy," Nasser al-Shaikh said.

Gold-backed Islamic security launch soon

A Shariah-compliant tradeable security backed by gold will be launched in Dubai next week, sources familiar with the plan said yesterday.

Investors have rushed into gold as a haven from the global economic storm and as insurance against potential future inflation.

The price of gold rose above $1,000 an ounce for the first time in almost a year last week.

Ipic teams up with Greek shipping group

Restis Group, Greece's fifth-largest shipping company, will team up with Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Company to jointly invest in shipping, energy and transport.

The two companies will create a joint venture with an initial investment of $1.5 billion (Dh5.5bn), Athens-based Restis Group said in an e-mailed statement. The two companies yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding to co-operate in a number of areas, including storage, ship-building, pipelines and ports.

"Through acquisitions and strategic holdings the new consortium aims at creating the first vertically-integrated group that will be active not only in oil extraction and refining but in its transportation," Ipic's Managing Director Khadem A Al Qubaisi said in the statement.

Banks need more government cash boost

Boosting bank deposits is “critical” to lending in the Emirates, with bankers saying they would like to replace customer deposits with cash injections from the Government and wholesale funding.

The ratio of loans to deposits held by banks grew to 112 per cent last month, according to the latest data from the Central Bank. Lending has all but stopped since large amounts of speculative money was withdrawn in the aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers in the US last year. The result has been a credit squeeze, further aggravating the slowdown.

“It is most important for us to stabilise sources of funding. Whether they come in the form of customer deposits or in any other form, that is going to be the critical aspect for us to continue to grow our lending,” said Sanjay Uppal, the chief financial officer at Emirates NBD.