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December 3, 2009

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Debt-hit Dubai World to meet main creditors

GOVERNMENT-OWNED Dubai World will meet its main creditors next week to discuss a request to delay payment on US$26 billion in debt that has shaken global markets and confidence in the Gulf Arab business hub.

The meeting would be the first formal encounter between Dubai and key lenders since the conglomerate that spearheaded Dubai's rapid growth disclosed its debt woes last Wednesday.

An Abu Dhabi bank executive, who asked not to be named, said London-listed Standard Chartered, HSBC, Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland, along with local lenders Emirates NBD and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, were on the creditors panel.

The banks did not immediately confirm participation on the committee that an Asian-based banking analyst said was likely to reflect those with greatest exposure to Dubai World, whose debts were run up during a property boom that turned to bust with the global financial crisis.

Dubai, part of the seven-member United Arab Emirates federation, has said the government would not guarantee the debts of Dubai World, whose overall liabilities total almost US$60 billion.


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