Dewa’s $2.2 bln loan refinancing on track: banker

LONDON - Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (Dewa) is on track to successfully refinance its $2.2 billion Islamic loan that matures in April, banking sources close to the deal said.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Fri 20 Mar 2009, 8:41 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 8:30 PM

Dewa is in syndication with a new loan, which is being arranged by Royal Bank of Scotland, Dubai Islamic Bank and Standard Chartered.

The deal complies with Islam’s ban on interest and is structured as an Ijara, or lease agreement. It is expected to close at the beginning of April.

The loan has a three-year maturity and will carry an irrevocable payment guarantee from the Government of Dubai. Dewa is rated A1 by Moody’s and A+ by Fitch.

Dewa is the latest Dubai government entity to tap the loan market in order to refinance existing debt. In February, Borse Dubai raised a $2.5 billion loan to refinance part of a $3.4 billion facility.

In all, Dubai Inc borrowers have $11 billion of foreign loans due to mature before the end of 2010, according to Reuters Loan Pricing Corp data.


Access to the loan market has become more difficult for Dubai government entities as foreign banks have retreated from Dubai to their domestic markets.

On Thursday, the economy minister of the United Arab Emirates said the economy could shrink this year due to the global slowdown, as signs mount that the global financial crisis has hit Gulf oil producers harder than initially thought.

Former boomtown Dubai has suffered a sharp downturn in its property market, where prices could fall almost 40 percent this year according to a Reuters poll this week.

Standard and Poor’s has said Dubai’s economy could shrink 2-4 percent in 2009, and earlier this week it lowered its ratings on six Dubai-based government-related entities by one notch, from ’A+’ to ’A’.

However, last month the central bank bought $10 billion of Dubai government bonds, providing positive news for firms looking to refinance and lenders alike.

“The placement of this bond eases concerns regarding the Dubai government’s ability to support the otherwise onerous refinancing requirements of its government-related entities in 2009,” Standard and Poor’s said in a statement this week.

Loan bankers are hopeful that the bond will mark a gradual recovery for the market.

“Looking forward the bond issue provides us with the bottom to Dubai risk,” an emerging markets loan specialist said. “The bond is the first step to an admission of a problem and a resolution of the problem.”

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