EFG Hermes cuts Dubai equity market to underweight

Analysts estimate that Dubai Inc debt totals $120bn to $150bn.

STOCK DOWNGRADES: The analysts downgraded four Gulf bank stocks. (Getty Images)

STOCK DOWNGRADES: The analysts downgraded four Gulf bank stocks. (Getty Images)

EFG Hermes cut the Dubai equity market to "underweight" from "overweight," citing the high level of uncertainty after Dubai World asked creditors of two of its flagship firms for a standstill on debt worth billions of dollars.

EFG Hermes analysts said they estimated Dubai Inc debt totaled $120bn to $150bn, significantly higher than the consensus number of $85 billion.

The analysts downgraded four Gulf bank stocks and said Emirates NBD and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank have the highest exposure to Dubai public lending.

"We believe that concerns over the solidity and value of the implicit state guarantee will raise borrowing costs," the analysts said.

Investors can find some attractive buying opportunities outside of the real estate and banking sectors, the analysts said.

The analysts raised their discount rate across UAE coverage by up to 400 basis points, bringing down fair value estimates by as much as 45 percent. (Reuters)

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