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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Dubai’s Hotels Have the Most Vacant Rooms in 18 Years - Bloomberg

Dubai’s Hotels Have the Most Vacant Rooms in 18 Years - Bloomberg:



"Dubai’s hotels had the lowest occupancy in at least 18 years in July, standing more than half empty, as more rooms were created and demand declined, according to research firm STR Global.



Occupancy declined 11.8 percentage points to 45.4 percent from a year earlier, STR Global said in a report dated yesterday. That’s the lowest since the company began tracking the Dubai hospitality market.



Dubai, which built some of the world’s most recognizable hotels such as the sail-shaped Burj al Arab, plans to almost double the number of hotel rooms by 2020 as it expects a surge of visitors ahead of the World Expo that year. The emirate is targeting about 160,000 rooms, many of them in the three- and four-star category rather than the luxury segment, Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of the Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said in March."



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Dubai World Pushes for Debt Deadline Postponement - Middle East Real Time - WSJ

Dubai World Pushes for Debt Deadline Postponement - Middle East Real Time - WSJ:



"Investment conglomerate Dubai World may resort to a familiar, but in recent times rarely used, legal mechanism set up at the height of the emirate’s financial crisis to obtain the backing from its creditors to postpone a crucial debt repayment deadline.



The state-owned firm and advisor Blackstone BX -1.45% are currently discussing with an increasing number of lenders the terms of a deal that proposes to push back the 2018 repayment date of the state firm’s largest chunk of debt ($10.3 billion) by four years, people familiar with the matter said. As part of the offer, creditors would be repaid earlier the $4.4 billion debt tranche that is currently due in 2015.



The rationale behind the extension of the 2018 deadline is as follows: Dubai World officials hope that the emirate’s recent economic recovery will gain further traction which will support the company’s business outlook and raise the value of its assets. Bearing in mind that the World Expo will be held in 2020, Dubai World is buying itself a few more years to gain a more favorable position as it finally tries to draw a line under its $23.5 billion debt ordeal that began in 2009."



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Only Norwegian krone holds its own against a stronger US dollar | The National

Only Norwegian krone holds its own against a stronger US dollar | The National:



"The US dollar bounced back across the board in July after tumbling against all the major currencies in June, except the Norwegian krone.



The US dollar fought back, rising by an average of more than 1.2 per cent against these currencies. The biggest gains were against the New Zealand dollar with a gain of more than 3.1 per cent, the Swedish krona at 2.9 per cent and the Canadian dollar at 2.5 per cent. Meanwhile, the Japanese yen declined by 1.2 per cent.



The US dollar came close to posting its fourth consecutive weekly gain, which is the longest winning streak in more than 17 months. However, US dollar bulls are near a critical test level at 82.51, which should be watched carefully."



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RBS preparing to sell international arm of Coutts | GulfNews.com

RBS preparing to sell international arm of Coutts | GulfNews.com:



"Royal Bank of Scotland confirmed it was considering selling the international arm of its private bank, a deal one source said could net it as much as $1 billion, as the British government leans on it to focus more on domestic lending.



The move means that Coutts, founded in the 18th century and best known as banker to the Queen of England, could be split into two businesses — one based in Britain and one in Zurich from where it runs operations in Hong Kong, Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Dubai that manage nearly $36 billion in client assets.



RBS has attracted a variety of offers from a range of bidders including unnamed Asian and North American parties for Coutts International, two sources with knowledge of the operation said."



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