Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum says emirate will have no issues in meeting debt obligations
Dubai will not have any issues in repaying all its debt maturing in 2015, and more state-linked firms are likely to repay obligations ahead of schedule, a top government official said on Tuesday.
"We will have no issues in repaying debt coming up next year," said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, a close advisor and uncle to Dubai's ruler.
Sheikh Ahmed, a key figure in the emirate's recovery from its 2009 debt crisis, was speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of a Dubai travel industry conference. He heads Dubai's supreme fiscal committee.
"We saw some companies paid before time already. I think you might see some more like this in the year to come."
State-owned firms such as Nakheel and Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group DUBAHC.UL (DHCOG) have repaid portions of their debt this year, ahead of maturity.
However, the emirate's ability to pay remaining debts will depend on its sales of assets to raise funds, and some bankers have said disposals may not be proceeding fast enough.
Dubai government-owned property firm Limitless has asked creditors for more time to repay a $1.2bn debt facility, its chairman said on Tuesday.
Sheikh Ahmed is also chairman of Dubai's flagship airline Emirates, which is expected to report its results for the financial year to end-March 2014 on Thursday. He said the company's profits would be higher than in the previous year.
The term "debt" here apparently refers only to money owed to banks. No sign of contractors and suppliers being paid what they're owed from years ago unfortunately, we do not have the wusta or the interest penalty in our favour and have no realistic recourse as suing the government or its related entities is not a real option in most cases.