DMCC to settle its $300m Islamic bond by May 2010

It has 13,000 registered companies involved in commodity trade. (EB FILE)

Dubai's Multi Commodity Centre (DMCC), a unit of state-owned conglomerate Dubai World, will not be involved in the repayment of the firm's $22 billion (Dh80.7bn) debt, its chief executive said yesterday.

Malcolm Wall Morris said the company, created in 2002 to make a commodity marketplace, was "incubated" from its parent company's debt troubles.

"We are not affected by the Dubai World situation as we are a standalone, incubated entity and we will not be taking part in the debt payment," said Morris.

He said the DMCC plans to settle a $300 million Islamic bond, or sukuk, by May. The company raised the funds five years ago for the construction of three commercial towers. "The last payment of $20m will be made on time and we have the money, so there's no issue with that," said Morris.

Morris said the DMCC, which hosts trade in gold, diamonds and oil among other raw materials, has about 13,000 registered companies involved in commodity trade across the board.

"Despite the slowdown of business in other sectors, the commodities business is still doing well and we have around 60 to 70 new companies joining us every month."

The DMCC plans to expand its Dubai Tea Trading Center (DTTC) subsidiary this year, said Morris.

"We are looking to expand this facility to include more storage capacity and larger area to print tea labels." The DTTC was formed in 2005 to facilitate tea trade.

The facility offers 5,000 tonnes of storage capacity where producers can store tea up to 60 days free.

The expansion will be financed through the DMCC and no additional loans will be taken, Morris added.

The DMCC also plans to further promote its gold storage vault – located in the bottom of Dubai's Almas tower, at the company's headquarters – as a storage depot for other countries.

"The vault has a storage capacity of 60 million tonnes and right now is only being used by commercial entities but we are also offering storage space for countries that wish to store here in Dubai," said Morris.

He declined to reveal the volume of gold in the vault.

 

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