Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dubai: Athens on the Creek?

Photograph by Tbc  Released to Public Domain

Martin Dokoupil at Reuters has a rather negative report on Dubai's financial condition quoting a Bank of America Merrill Lynch report that 
  1. Dubai state owned companies are "sitting" on US$100 billion of debt of which US$30 billion comes due through 2012
  2. Dubai's debt is 170% of GDP compared the article notes to Greece's 103%.
That last statistic sounds quite alarming.  But before you plunk down that deposit for an off plan villa at Palm Athena, recall that much of the US$100 billion was debt incurred by corporations not the sovereign itself.  In many cases entities with real businesses.  Emirates Airlines.  Emirates NBD.  Dubai Ports.   In several cases businesses that are incorporated outside of the Emirate.  Or whose main theaters of business activity are outside of the Emirate.

That doesn't mean that everything is just fine.  But rather as always one needs to look behind the headline or headline ratio to the details.


Chapter 11 said...

Luckily for Dubai their debt is dollar denominated or pegged.

Saves them from the additional stresses that Hungary is now facing with alot of their funding being CHF and USD denominated.

Laocowboy2 said...

Athens? If only. No EU or IMF for Dubai. More like Argentina.