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Dubai repays $1.93 billion sukuk debt

DUBAI: Dubai said Monday it has repaid $1.93 billion raised from Islamic bonds known as “sukuk” and renewed its commitment to pay back billions of dollars worth of debt on time.

Dubai repaid 2.5 billion dirhams ($68 million, 54 million euros) in dirham sukuks and $1.25 billion in dollar sukuks, the official WAM news agency reported, citing a government statement.

It said both sukuks matured on Monday.

Dubai has repaid or restructured billions of dollars of debt, as the emirate’s economy recovers from its 2009 debt emergency in the midst of the global financial crisis.

In August, the emirate’s real estate giant Nakheel repaid all of its $2.15 billion bank debt almost four years ahead of schedule.

Dubai in March managed to delay for another five years the repayment of $20 billion worth of debt it received from neighbouring Abu Dhabi that was due to mature this year.

The International Monetary Fund estimates that Dubai and its government-linked entities face a total maturing debt of around $80 billion.

Abdulrahman al-Saleh, director general of its finance department, said the Nakheel repayment demonstrated Dubai’s commitment to honour its financial obligations on time.

The emirate sent shockwaves through markets worldwide in 2009 when it encountered problems servicing its debt mountain.

Dubai had by then piled up some $113 billion worth of debt.

The economy contracted 2.4 percent in 2009, but it grew 3.4 percent in 2011 and exceeded four percent growth last year. -AFP

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