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Sun 7 Oct 2007 02:14 AM

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Dubai set for first credit rating

Emirate likely to receive first credit rating this year as part of plans to sell gov't bonds, report says.

Dubai will probably receive its first credit rating this year as part of plans to become the second member of the United Arab Emirates federation to sell bonds, the Middle East Economic Digest reported.

Fitch Ratings is working on Dubai's rating and JPMorgan Chase & Co will provide advice on any bonds, the London-based weekly said in its latest issue, citing sources close to Fitch.

Fitch Ratings offices in Dubai could not be reached for comment on Saturday.

Fitch assigned an 'AA' credit rating to Abu Dhabi, the largest of the oil-exporting UAE's seven family-ruled emirates, before it sold a $1 billion, 5-year bond in July.

Those were the UAE's first government bonds. The federal government of the world's sixth largest oil exporter has no debt.

A Dubai government bond, like the one from Abu Dhabi, would help create a benchmark for UAE companies that are borrowing to finance expansion abroad.

Dubai Holding Commercial Operations, a firm owned by Dubai's ruler, raised $2.46 billion in its debut bond sale in January to help refinance debt.

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