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Mon 21 Dec 2015 02:42 PM

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Dubai's Jebel Ali Free Zone repays $544m loan early

Dubai's flagship business says it has repaid Islamic loan nearly four and a half years ahead of 2020 maturity

Dubai's Jebel Ali Free Zone repays $544m loan early

Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZ), Dubai's flagship business, said on Monday it has repaid its AED2 billion ($544 million) Islamic loan facility to banks nearly four and a half years ahead of scheduled maturity in June 2020.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, chairman of Economic ZonesWorld, the holding company of JAFZ, said: "This is perhaps the most significant milestone in the history of JAFZ. Early repayment manifests the true commitment of the shareholder and Government of Dubai to reduce the debt of overall Dubai World Group.

"The continued successful operational performance of the Free Zone enabled it to generate enough cash to clear its debt ahead of the maturity date."

The Islamic facility was arranged in June 2012 to partly refinance its maturing sukuk issued earlier in 2007.

"JAFZ is thankful to the banks that placed its trust and confidence in the Free Zone, by lending it AED4.4 billion during challenging market conditions in mid-2012," said Bin Sulayem.

JAFZ now has only one external debt of $650 million due under sukuk maturing in June 2019, he added.

"JAFZ will continue to invest in additional facilities based on market demand and it expects to fund new developments from accrued resources," said Bin Sulayem.

Over 7,000 businesses including 100 Global Fortune 500 companies have chosen JAFZ as their regional hub.

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