Dubai considers selling stake in Emirates

11
29th Nov 2010
Dubai considers selling stake in Emirates

Investors from around the world will be offered an opportunity to take a stake in Emirates Airlines as Dubai considers the sale of state assets.

The emirate remains approximately $110 billion in debt to creditors, despite a bailout from neighbouring Abu Dhabi earlier this year.

With swathes of its debt due for repayment over the next two years, all options are being considered.

The emirate is “working on opening the capital of some of our leading companies to the public,” explained Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Emirates Airlines and a three-man committee charged with plotting the emirate’s economic recovery.

“Dubai is very rich in good quality assets – we are being chased by investment bankers to do something with them,” he added.

“This is in the pipeline, and it might be used as a mechanism to reduce some of our debts in the future.”

However, control of the airline would remain with Dubai for the foreseeable future Sheik Al Maktoum said.

CONTINUES BELOW

Debt Mountain

Dubai has an estimated $18 billion in loans maturing next year, with the government focusing efforts clearing the estimated $12 billion held by Dubai Holding, the conglomerate owned by the ruler.

Other assets could also go under the hammer including the Jebel Ali Free Zone, the business and trading area in Dubai; DP World, the ports company that owns Britain’s P&O; and Nakheel, the property developer behind the Palm islands

Emirates is, however, likely to prove the most highly sought after asset with the airline reporting strong financial growth earlier this month.

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