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Dubai sovereign bond likely in 2014, no deal on bourse merger

Abu Dhabi: Shaikh Ahmad bin Saeed Al Maktoum, head of Dubai’s Supreme Fiscal Committee, has hinted that the Dubai government could issue a sovereign bond this year.

He was speaking to the media on the sidelines of the Global Aerospace Summit in Abu Dhabi on Monday. He was not speaking at the event.

“I always say when the market is good, in any business… not only related to government, we should go to the market,” said Shaikh Ahmad, who is also the Chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline & Group, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Department and Chairman of Dubai World.

Asked how he sees the market, Shaikh Ahmad said: “It seems good. There is a lot of liquidity in the market in the UAE and internationally,” hinting at a possible sovereign bond issuing.

Last month, the Dubai government signed a deal with Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s central bank to restructure $20 billion in debt it had loaned in 2009 for a further five years. The interest rate on the loan has been reduced from 4 per cent to 1 per cent.

Asked if Emirates could issue a sukuk in 2014, Shaikh Ahmad gave a similar comment to the media.

“It is something, as I said in the beginning, if the market is good we will always go to the market,” he said.

Commenting on a merger between the two UAE bourses, the Dubai Financial Market and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, Shaikh Ahmad said:

“It’s something I see as going to be very positive if the agreement is reached between the two,” he said.

He, however, stopped short of confirming the merger, which has been spoken about for some time now. “There is a dialogue but it is not finalised yet,” Shaikh Ahmad said.

Last year, it was reported that advisors had been appointed to assist the merger. However, there has been little movement since.