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    05 April 2009

    [BUSINESS]Dubai Companies Raise $2.84 Billion to Refinance Debt

    The Dubai Electricity & Water Authority, the state-owned utility, and the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority raised $2.84 billion in syndicated loans to repay their debt, making April a busy month for Gulf Arab debt issues.

    Dewa received a $2.2 billion loan from 18 international and local banks to refinance maturing debt, it said in an e-mailed statement today. The details of the facility will be announced on April 8. Dubai Civil Aviation raised $635 million in an Islamic Ijara loan to repay $1 billion of its debt, the Dubai government said in a separate statement.

    Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich emirate with the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, raised $3 billion on April 1 in its first sale of bonds in two years. Qatar, the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural-gas, sold $3 billion of bonds on April 2 to fund companies hurt by the global credit crisis. These came after Borse Dubai Ltd. borrowed $2.5 billion in February to refinance a facility it used to buy stakes in Swedish exchange operator OMX AB and the London Stock Exchange.

    Dubai and its state-owned companies borrowed $80 billion to finance its transformation into a regional financial and tourist hub and the collapse of global credit markets last year sparked fears the emirate would default on loan obligations. Dubai government companies need to repay $10 billion of bonds and syndicated loans in the remainder of the year, $7 billion in 2010 and $25 billion in 2011, S&P analyst Farouk Soussa said last month. This doesn’t include money owed by banks.

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