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Sat 12 Sep 2009 10:10 AM

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Dubai World says Istithmar CEO's job safe

Dubai World says current Istithmar World CEO unit to continue to lead the company.

Dubai World said on Friday the chief executive of its Istithmar World unit would continue to lead the company, after reports his position was under review.

"Reports that ... David Jackson had left the company were incorrect," the state-owned conglomerate said in an e-mailed statement.

Earlier on Friday, Bloomberg said Istithmar World is freezing investments as part of a restructuring process that may result in sale of the fund or its assets, citing people familiar with the plan. The sources said Jackson's job was under review.

Dubai World did not comment on the reported investment freeze or restructuring but added that the unit was "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".

Earlier this week, Istithmar World said its co-chief investment officers John Amato and Felix Herlihy were leaving the firm to explore other opportunities.

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.

The company, which owns U.S. luxury chain Barneys New York, in August hired an advisory firm to help it mull options to shore up Barney's financial position.

Barneys is not considering an imminent restructuring of its business but is looking at its options, a person familiar with the company told Reuters on Sept 3., as consumers continue to hold tightly on to their wallets ahead of the upcoming holiday shopping season. (Reuters)

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