Emirates stake for sale?

Is the sale of a stake in Emirates to help pay down Dubai sovereign debt imminent? Dubai might offer a stake in one of its most treasured assets – Emirates Airlines – in order to reduce the government’s sovereign debt, the director general of the Dubai Ruler’s Court is reported as saying. Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani told a press conference, “The possibility of offering a stake in Emirates Airlines to the public is always there and is being studied and considered.”

Speaking at the Dubai economic update forum on the eve of the anniversary of last year’s Dubai World debt announcement that rattled financial markets globally, HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, head of Dubai’s Supreme Fiscal Committee, separately stated, “We (continue to) work on opening the door for public subscription in some of our large companies.”

The emirate of Dubai owes sovereign debts of approximately US$30 billion. Emirates Airlines’ first half (Apr-Sep 2010) net profit was nearly US$1 billion.

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