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Sat 9 Jan 2010 09:29 AM

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Dubai ruler signals confidence in Dubai World head

'Sultan Bin Sulayem, chairman of Dubai World, continues to hold his position.'

Dubai's ruler indicated continued confidence on Friday in the chairman of Dubai World, the government-owned conglomerate that is seeking to restructure more than $20 billion in debt.

"Sultan Bin Sulayem, chairman of Dubai World, continues to hold his position," the office of the emirate's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, said in a statement carried by state media. It did not elaborate.

Dubai World announced on Nov 25 that it would seek a debt standstill on $26 billion.

The conglomerate staved off a $4.1 billion bond default by its real estate unit, Nakheel, after receiving a $10 billion bond from the neighbouring emirate of Abu Dhabi, holder of most of the oil reserves of the United Arab Emirates, the world's third largest crude exporter.

In December a banking source said that Dubai World told creditors it would pitch a standstill proposal in mid-January.

A Dubai World spokesperson said last month the company was aiming to have a restructuring plan in place by April. (Reuters)

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