Dubai repays US$1.93b sukuk debt

[DUBAI] Dubai said on Monday it has repaid US$1.93 billion raised from Islamic bonds known as "sukuk" and renewed its commitment to pay back billions of dollars worth of debt on time.

Dubai repaid 2.5 billion dirhams (US$68 million) in dirham sukuks and US$1.25 billion in dollar sukuks, the official WAM news agency reported, citing a government statement.

It said both sukuks matured on Monday.

Dubai has repaid or restructured billions of dollars of debt, as the emirate's economy recovers from its 2009 debt emergency in the midst of the global financial crisis.

In August, the emirate's real estate giant Nakheel repaid all of its US$2.15 billion bank debt almost four years ahead of schedule.

Dubai in March managed to delay for another five years the repayment of $20 billion worth of debt it received from neighbouring Abu Dhabi that was due to mature this year.

The International Monetary Fund estimates that Dubai and its government-linked entities face a total maturing debt of around US$80 billion.

Abdulrahman al-Saleh, director general of its finance department, said the Nakheel repayment demonstrated Dubai's commitment to honour its financial obligations on time.

The emirate sent shockwaves through markets worldwide in 2009 when it encountered problems servicing its debt mountain.

Dubai had by then piled up some US$113 billion worth of debt.

The economy contracted 2.4 per cent in 2009, but it grew 3.4 per cent in 2011 and exceeded four per cent growth last year.


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