Dubai May Need Help From Abu Dhabi to Fund Borrowing (Update2)

By Matthew Brown

Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) — Dubai may need help from Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates government to finance a surge in borrowing that paid for the world’s tallest tower, palm tree- shaped man-made islands and stakes in banks worldwide.

Dubai’s “potential reliance” will be “most significant” in coming years, Moody’s Investors Service said in a report today. Government-controlled companies owe at least $47 billion, more than Dubai’s gross domestic product, and they will continue to accumulate debt at a faster pace than the economy grows, the New York-based rating firm said.

“These companies that are based in Dubai have become larger than Dubai itself,” said Giyas Gokkent, chief economist at National Bank of Abu Dhabi, the U.A.E.’s second-largest commercial bank by assets. “If anything were to go wrong with any of these companies, Dubai does not have the wherewithal to deal with it.”

State-owned Dubai World paid about $5.1 billion for almost 10 percent of Kirk Kerkorian‘s MGM Mirage last year; the price has tumbled since to $16.80 from $84. DP World, the government- run company that bought Peninsula and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. for $6.8 billion in 2006, has slumped 55 percent this year on the Dubai International Financial Exchange.

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