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Fri 11 Sep 2009 10:09 AM

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Dubai's Istithmar eyes sale, halts investments - report

Istithmar World is freezing investments as part of a restructuring process - Bloomberg.

Dubai's Istithmar World is freezing investments as part of a restructuring process that may result in sale of the fund or its assets, Bloomberg said, citing people familiar with the plan.

Earlier this week, Istithmar World said its co-chief investment officers John Amato and Felix Herlihy are leaving the firm to explore other opportunities. The job of David Jackson, who runs Istithmar World, is also under review, the people told the news agency.

Istithmar is one of the flagship companies of state-owned Dubai World, whose real estate unit Nakheel is struggling to refinance $3.52 billion Islamic bonds maturing in December. Dubai World has $59 billion of liabilities, a large proportion of the Gulf emirate's total debt.

Winding down Istithmar may help Dubai reduce its debt load, the people told the news agency.

"There are no plans to merge IW," Abdelaziz Al Mazam, head of marketing and public relations at Istithmar World, said in an email to the news agency. "IW is one of Dubai World's key subsidiaries, actively managing a portfolio of investments worldwide, and will continue to be a key subsidiary into the future."

Calls made by Reuters to Dubai's Istithmar office early Friday were unanswered. (Reuters)

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