Dubai may get new financial aid from Abu Dhabi: Barclays

Abu
Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates and home to 90 percent of the
country’s oil reserves, might offer more fiscal aid to sister state Dubai to
help refinance maturing debt, Barclays Capital said.

“As
higher oil prices and production replenishes the coffers in Saudi, Kuwait and
UAE on improving fiscal and external balances, we would not rule out oil-rich
Abu Dhabi supporting Dubai in meeting some of its refinancing needs to avoid
negative headlines and confirm its solidarity with other emirates,” Alia
Moubayed, London-based senior economist for the firm, said in a research report
Wednesday.

Abu
Dhabi agreed a $20bn deal with Dubai after Dubai World, the state-owned holding
company, roiled global markets by seeking to alter terms on about $25bn of debt
following the 2008 property crash.

Dubai
and its government entities have about $18bn of loans coming due in 2011, Shady
Shaher of Standard Chartered Plc said in December.


The
UAE and neighbouring countries are benefiting from oil prices that have risen
19 percent this year, reaching a 2011 high today of $109.15 a barrel, as
conflict raged in Libya and protests gripped countries from Morocco to Bahrain.

The
UAE is home to about seven percent of the world’s oil supply.

Dubai
and its state-owned companies ran up debt of at least $129.3bn, according to
estimates by Credit Suisse Group AG, as the emirate, lacking Abu Dhabi’s oil,
developed its property, tourism, trade and financial-services industries. Dubai
World signed a final deal with creditors March 23, marking the end of the
restructuring.

“Dubai’s
refinancing risk, which has preoccupied markets for the past 18 months, has
moved to the background, as Bahrain’s mounting political risk comes to the
fore,” the report said.