The main investment arm of the Dubai government, which owns high profile Dubai-based companies such as Emirates airlines, Emaar Properties and the bank Emirates NBD, is looking to issue bonds.
The Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) has hired banks and started conducting fixed income investor meetings with the possibility of issuing a bond or a sukuk, subject to market conditions. The company has released prospectuses for both a sukuk and bond issuance.
The government-owned holding company has for the first time released details of its finances ahead of the investor meetings. It stated that net profits in the first half of 2013 stood at AED8.1bn ($2.2bn), a slight decline on the AED8.5bn recorded in the first half of 2012.
Revenues in the first half of 2013 reached AED91.2bn, marking an increase on the AED77.3bn recorded in the same period in the preceding year.
Market commentators say that ICD could be raising the money to put Dubai government in a position where it could help Dubai World, another government-backed conglomerate, meet its debt obligations. Dubai World has a $4.5bn repayment to make in 2015 and a further $10bn in 2018.
ICD does not have syndicated loans maturing in the near term after it raised a five-year $2.55bn in 2013 to refinance a facility expiring then. As a result we believe the bond sale could partly reflect a Dubai Inc strategy to increase and upstream leverage at performing entities, read a note from analyst Jean-Michel Saliba in a Bank of America Merrill Lynch global research report.
ICD is considered to be one of the more financially stable government-related entities compared to the debt-laden Dubai World.