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Mon 4 Jan 2010 11:44 AM

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DP World says debt payments made on time

Dubai ports operator says it has paid regular coupon and profit obligations.

DP World, a subsidiary of debt-laden state-owned holding company Dubai World, said it had paid regular coupon and profit obligations tied to a sukuk and a bond issue on time.

The ports operator, one of the largest in the world, and listed on Nasdaq Dubai, said it had distributed profit for the 180-day period on its $1.5 billion sukuk issue due in 2017, according to a statement on the bourse website on Monday.

The profit rate was 6.25 percent for a payout of $46.9 million.

DP World, which is not part of its parent's debt restructuring plans, also said it had completed a coupon payment of $59.9 million for the period ending Dec 31, 2009 on a $1.75 billion bond issue due in 2037.

Dubai sent shockwaves through global markets on Nov. 25 when it said it would request a standstill on billions of dollars of debts linked to Dubai World and its property units Limitless and Nakheel, developer of three palm-shaped islands.

Dubai World is expected to pitch a formal standstill proposal on its debt payments to creditors this month, while it comes up with a restructuring plan.

The conglomerate has already moved to ringfence its profitable assets, and said that its debt restructuring excludes firms on a "stable financial footing" such as DP World, Istithmar World, and Jebel Ali Freezone.

The DP World statement coincided with the high-profile inauguration of the world's tallest tower, Burj Dubai, as the emirate pursues efforts to bolster investor sentiment that plummeted with the Dubai World debt announcement.

In October, DP World reported a 6-percent fall in third-quarter container volumes and said its 2009 results would be in line with market expectations.

The ports operator also has a $3 billion loan maturing in October 2012. (Reuters)

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